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Table 3 Key study characteristics and results

From: Can screening instruments accurately determine poor outcome risk in adults with recent onset low back pain? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Reference Country of investigation and clinical setting Definition of poor outcome N at baseline, (n at follow-up, % at follow-up) Discrimination (AUC (95% confidence interval))
STarT Back Screening Tool
 Beneciuk et al. 2012 [43] USA Outpatient physiotherapy clinics At 6 months: aPain NRS score ≥ 3 aDisability (ODI score ≥ 30%) 73 (55, 75.3%) aPain 0.61 (0.45–0.76) aDisability 0.75 (0.60–0.90)
 Field & Newell, 2012 [44] UK Chiropractic clinics At 90 days: aPain NRS score ≥ 3 477 (151, 31.7%) aPain 0.597 (0.499–0.694)
 Hill et al. 2008 [46] UK General practice clinics 6 months: RMDQ score ≥ 7 aPain NRS score ≥ 3 aDisability ≥ 30% RMDQ 177 at follow-up. (N at baseline not specified aPain 0.70 (0.62–0.88) aDisability 0.81 (0.75–0.88)
 Kongsted et al. 2015 [38] Denmark Chiropractic clinics 3 months: aPain NRS score ≥ 3 aDisability ≥ 30% RMDQ 754 (604, 80.1%) aPain 0.56 (0.49–0.60) aDisability 0.67 (0.62–0.73)
 Newell et al. 2014 [45] UK Chiropractic clinics At 90 days: aPain NRS score ≥ 3 284 (192, 67.6%) aPain 0.59 (0.48–0.69)
Orebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire; Acute Low Back Pain Screening Questionnaire
 Gabel et al. 2011 [39] Australia Physiotherapy outpatient clinics At 6 months: Functional status ≥ 10% Problem severity > 1 Absenteeism > 0 days Long term absenteeism > 28 days aPain NRS score ≥ 3 aDisability (SFI score ≥ 30%) 66 (58, 87.9%) (OMPSQ - Original) Functional status 0.88 (0.78–0.99) Problem severity 0.85 (0.72–0.97) Absenteeism 0.86 (0.76–0.96) Long-term absenteeism 0.85 (0.73–0.96) aPain 0.84 (0.71–0.97) aDisability 0.80 (0.67–0.92)
 Grotle et al. 2006 [25] Norway General practitioner/Chiropractor/Physiotherapy clinics (27% recruited through advertisement) At 6 & 12 months: Pain NRS score ≥ 3 Disability (RMDQ score > 4) Sick leave (> 30 days) 123 (112, 91.1%) Pain 0.62 (0.51–0.73) Disability 0.68 (0.56–0.80) Sick leave 0.80 (0.66–0.93)
 Heneweer et al. 2007 [66] Netherlands Physiotherapy clinics Not recovered at 12 weeks aPain NRS score ≥ 3 aDisability QBPDS ≥ 30%) 66 (56, 84.8%) Non-recovery 0.64 (0.5–0.79) aPain 0.64 (0.50–0.78) aDisability 0.67 (0.54–0.8)
 Jellema et al. 2007 [52] Netherlands General practice clinics 12 months: score of ‘slightly improved’ or worse at two or more follow-up time points 314 (296, 94.3%) Non-recovery 0.61 (0.54–0.67)
 Law et al. 2013 [37] China Physiotherapy clinics in public hospitals 12 months post discharge: Failure to return to work Prolonged sick leave (> 30 days) 241 (220, 91.3%) Return to work 0.69 (0.62–0.76) Prolonged sick leave 0.71 (0.64–0.78)
 Nonclercq et al. 2012 [42] Belgium Emergency facility or outpatient clinic At 6 months: Pain index score > 16 ODI ≥ 20% Functional index < 45 Work absence > 30 days aPain NRS score ≥ 3 aDisability ≥ 30% ODI 91 (73, 80%) Pain 0.73 (no confidence intervals) Functional index 0.79 (no confidence intervals) Absenteeism 0.83 (standard error 0.71) Disability 0.75 (no confidence intervals) aPain 0.70 (standard error 0.66) aDisability 0.72 (standard error 0.86)
 Schmidt et al. 2016 [48] Germany General practice clinics 6 months: Disability ≥ 4/11 (dichotomised mean response to three GCPS disability items) 181 (112, 62%) Disability (OMPSQ scale sum score) 0.79 (0.67–0.90) Disability (OMPSQ item sum score) 0.77 (0.66–0.87)
Vermont Disability Prediction Questionnaire
 Hazard et al. 1996 [49] USA Vermont Department of Labour and Industry database Not returned to work at 3 months 166 (163, 98%) Return to work 0.92 (no confidence interval or standard error reported)
 Hazard et al. 1997 [50] USA Vermont Department of Labour and Industry database Not returned to work at 3 months 304 (268, 88.2%) Return to work 0.78 (no confidence interval or standard error reported)
Absenteeism Screening Questionnaire
 Truchon et al. 2012 [51] Canada Quebec Workers Compensation Board database 12 months: Absenteeism > 182 cumulative days 535 (310, 58%) Absenteeism 0.73 (no confidence intervals or standard error reported)
Chronic Pain Risk Score
 Turner et al. 2013 [61] USA Primary care 4 months Pain grades 3 & 4 aPain NRS ≥ 3 458 (425, 92.8%) Pain grades 3 & 4 0.67 (0.59–0.72) aPain 0.67 (0.59–0.72)
Back Disability Risk Questionnaire
 Shaw et al. 2009 [40] USA Occupational health clinics 3 months: Pain ≥ 5 Disability ≥ 50% aPain NRS score ≥ 3 aDisability ≥ 30% RMDQ 568 (519, 91.4%) aPain 0.61 (0.56–0.66) aDisability 0.66 (0.62–0.70)
Hancock Clinical Prediction Rule
 Williams et al. 2014 [41] Australia General practice clinics, Pharmacists or physiotherapy clinics 3 months: No sustained recovery (0 or 1/10 on a NRS for 7 consecutive days) aPain NRS ≥ 3 956 (937, 82%) Sustained recovery 0.60 (0.56–0.64) aPain 0.62 (0.60–0.65)
  1. aUnpublished data for ‘recent onset’ participants, provided on request
  2. NRS numeric rating scale, ODI Oswestry Disability Index, RMDQ Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, SFI Spine Functional Index, QBPDS Quebec Back Pain Disability Scale, GCPS Graded Chronic Pain Scale, OMPSQ Orebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire