Psychosocial predictors of disability in patients with low back pain

R. A. Deyo, A. K. Diehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


We prospectively studied outcomes for 179 patients with low back pain. Predictors of future function, employment, and medical utilization were drawn from 21 clinical, demographic, and psychosocial variables using multivariate techniques. Education, previous episodes, and whether the patient 'always feels sick' were independently associated with most outcome measures, but prescribed therapy and physical findings were not. These 3 items created a scale defining subgroups with 3-fold differences in outcomes (e.g., 35% functionally improved in the worst group vs 93% in the best, p < 0.001). Data from a national survey supported the importance of education and self-rated health as correlates of back related disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1557-1564
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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