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A Prospective Evaluation of Preemployment Screening Methods for Acute Industrial Back Pain

Bigos, Stanley J., MD*; Battié, Michele C., PhD*; Fisher, Lloyd D., PhD*; Hansson, Tommy H., MD, PhD; Spengler, Dan M., MD; Nachemson, Alf L., MD, PhD

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Preemployment screening methods have been ineffective in predicting those at risk, and in curbing the impact of back problems in industry. Such methods have centered on individual physical factors (capacities and clinical examination). This study evaluates commonly used physical examination measures and simple historical data for its ability to predict individuals at risk for future back injury reporting in the aircraft industry. In this study, once simple historical information about previous pain treatment was known, information gained from physical factors added no significant predictive value.

From the *Department of Orthopaedics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery 1, Sahlgren Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden, and the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.