Tool Developed to Predict Progression from Acute to Chronic Pain
Written by Editor   
Friday, July 03, 2015 02:45 PM
Quick Brief:  Researchers develop a clinical decision rule for determining the risk of acute low back pain becoming chronic.


Researchers studied data on 605 patients with acute lower back pain in developing a clinical decision rule (CDR) that uses eight criteria for determining the risk of chronic pain. "A CDR was developed that may help primary care clinicians classify patients with strictly defined acute LBP into low-, moderate-, and high-risk groups for developing chronic pain and performed acceptably in 1,000 bootstrapped replications," authors write. The researchers found that 13 and 19 percent of the patients had chronic pain at six months and two years, respectively. 

The CDR contains eight items for the 6-month, and eight items for the 2-year, risk classification with five items common to both classifications.  These items translate into three levels of risk for developing chronic pain in patients in primary care with a new-onset episode of strictly defined acute low back pain.
The study in The Spine Journal categorized the patients into low-, moderate- and high-risk groupings.