The course of chronic and recurrent low back pain in the general population

Tamcan, Oezguer; Mannion, Anne F; Eisenring, Claudia; Horisberger, Bruno; Elfering, Achim; Müller, Urs (2010). The course of chronic and recurrent low back pain in the general population. Pain, 150(3), pp. 451-457. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.pain.2010.05.019

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Using latent class analysis (LCA), a previous study on patients attending primary care identified four courses of low back pain (LBP) over the subsequent 6 months. To date, no studies have used longitudinal pain recordings to examine the "natural" course of recurrent and chronic LBP in a population-based sample of individuals. This study examines the course of LBP in the general population and elaborates on the stability and criterion-related validity of the clusters derived. A random sample of 400 individuals reporting LBP in a population-based study was asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire at the start and end of the year's survey, and 52 weekly pain diaries in between. The latter were analyzed using LCA. 305 individuals returned more than 50% of the diaries. Four clusters were identified (severe persistent, moderate persistent, mild persistent, and fluctuating). The clusters differed significantly with regards to pain and disability. Assessment of cluster stability showed that a considerable proportion of patients in the "fluctuating" group changed their classification over time. Three of the four clusters describing the typical course of pain matched the clusters described previously for patients in primary care. Due to the population-based design, this study achieves, for the first time, a close insight into the "natural" course of chronic and recurrent low back pain, including individuals that did not necessarily visit the general practitioner. The findings will help to understand better the nature of this pain in the general population.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Evaluative Research into Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Tamcan, Özgür; Elfering, Achim Heiko and Müller, Urs








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:09

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2017 13:14

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URI: (FactScience: 201625)

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