Outcome measures for studying patients with low back pain

Richard A. Deyo, Gunnar Andersson, Claire Bombardier, Daniel C. Cherkin, Robert B. Keller, Casey K. Lee, Matthew H. Liang, Bailey Lipscomb, Paul Shekelle, Kevin F. Spratt, James N. Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations


There Is growing recognition in the treatment of back pain that patient рerepection are essential in judging the results of treatment. Improving the patient quality of life is often the main goal of reply. Thus, although clinical research in the past has focused on physiologic curcumas, such as range of motion, muscle strength, or neurologic deficits, increasing attention is being given to the rigorous measurement of symptoms, functional status, rote function, satisfaction with treatment, and health care costs. In many cases, these socalled,”soft” outcomes can be measured with a level of reproducibility similar to more conventional clinical data such as imaging test results. Because symptoms and functional outcomes are sometimes only loosely associated with physiologic phenomena, the Former outcomes should be measured directly. Modern questionnaires for measuring patient quality of life combine the expertise of social scientists and clinicians and have demonstrated validity. Furthermore, they have some Important advantages over simple ratings of "excellent, good, fair, and poor" outcomes, or work status alone. Several modern instruments for measuring health-related quality of life in patent with low back pain are reviewed briefly, describing their content and length. Wider use of these instruments would help to Increase clinician familiarity with their meaning and avoid duplication of effort in questionnaire development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2032-2036
Number of pages5
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional status
  • Health status
  • Outcomes
  • Quality of life
  • Questionnaires
  • Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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