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New Tool For Evaluating Results of Treatment for Low Back Pain

Health care is taking a closer look these days at the results of treatment for all kinds of conditions. Patients, physicians, and insurance companies want to know that the treatment chosen is effective for the problem. Toward this end, researchers have developed a new tool to assess treatment outcomes for low back pain (LBP) patients.

The Lumbar Spine Outcomes Questionnaire (LSOQ) is a comprehensive survey to evaluate treatment results. Six measures are included: 1) severity of back pain, 2) severity of leg pain, 3)function/disability, 4) psychological distress, 5) physical symptoms, and 6) use of health care services.

A group of 40 orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists, and psychologists decided and agreed on which test items to include. The survey was tested on 150 LBP patients at eight spine clinics throughout the U.S. Everyone filled out the survey before and after treatment. Once the questionnaire was ready, it was given to over 2,000 LBP patients (before and after treatment).

Most of the patients could fill out the survey in 10 to 12 minutes without any help. It can be used in an over-the-phone interview, face-to-face interview, or the patient can fill it out him or herself. There is an instruction manual and scoring can be done on a computer.

There are many different survey tools available to measure results of treatment for LBP. Often more than one must be used to get all the important data collected. The LSOQ is the first all-in-one questionnaire for this group of patients. It is easy to use, reliable, and valid. The authors suggest using it in both clinical and research settings.


Mohammed BenDebba, PhD, et al. The Lumbar Spine Outcomes Questionnaire: Its Development and Psychometric Properties. In The Spine Journal. January/February 2007. Vol. 7. No. 1. Pp. 118-132.

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*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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