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Correlation of Low Back Pain With Functional Status, General Health Perception, Social Participation, Subjective Happiness, and Patient Satisfaction

Takeyachi, Yoshiaki, MD*; Konno, Shin-ichi, MD*; Otani, Koji, MD*; Yamauchi, Kazuya, MD*; Takahashi, Ichiro, MD*; Suzukamo, Yoshimi, PhD; Kikuchi, Shin-ichi, MD*

doi: 10.1097/01.BRS.0000067091.88283.B6
Health Services Research

Study Design. A cross-sectional and epidemiologic study investigated low back pain.

Objective. To assess the correlation among outcome measures for low back pain, including sciatica, according to a proposed low back pain–related model.

Summary of Background Data. Various outcome measures are used in low back pain research: pain, functional status, generic health status, and patient satisfaction. Correlation among these measures has been unclear.

Methods. For this study, 816 subjects (369 men and 447 women; average age, 62 years) who underwent an adult medical examination. The patients were interviewed concerning their personal background, severity of low back pain and sciatica, functional status, general health perception, social participation, subjective happiness, and patient satisfaction. The correlation among these measures was analyzed systematically using path analysis based on a low back pain–related model hypothesizing that low back pain and sciatica worsen functional status and general health perception and then affect social participation, subjective happiness, and patient satisfaction.

Results. Restriction of functional status was found to be the most closely correlated with severity of low back pain. A decrease in physical health was most closely correlated with restriction of function. Social participation, subjective happiness, and patient satisfaction were closely correlated with physical health status. There was a significant correlation among outcome measures concerning physical health, which was consistent with a low back pain–related model.

Conclusions. The outcome measures concerning physical health in this study were found to be correlated significantly, consistent with the proposed low back pain–related model.

From the *Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Fukushima Medical University, School of Medicine, Fukushima City, and the

†Department of Epidemiology and Health Care Research, Kyoto University, Koyoto, Japan.

Acknowledgment date: May 14, 2002.

First revision date: August 6, 2002.

Second revision date: November 18, 2002.

Acceptance date: November 26, 2002.

The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical device(s)/drug(s). Funds were received in support of this work. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Yoshiaki Takeyachi, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Fukushima Medical University, School of Medicine, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima City, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan; E-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.