Back pain in primary care: Outcomes at 1 year

Michael V. Korff, Richard A. Deyo, Daniel Cherkin, William Barlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

364 Scopus citations


Outcomos of primary care back puin patienta (N = 1128) wero studied at 1 year aftor seeking care. Changes in depression depending on outcome, and predictors of poor outcome were evaluated. Less then one back pain patient in five reported recent onset (first onset within (he previous 6 months!. One year after seeking сare, the largo majority o f both recent and nonrecent-onset patien:$ ruported having back pain in t ie previous month (69%. vs. 82%). A significant minority of both recent and no recent-onset patients had either a poor functional outcome (14% vs. 21%) or continuing high intensity pain without appreciable disability (10% vs. 16%). Predictors of poor outcome included pain-related disability, days in pain, lower eduoetional attainment and female gender. Among initially dysfunctional patients with persistent pain, one half ware improved and one third had a good outcome at the 1-year follow-up. Among initially dysfunctional patients who experienced a good outcome, elevated depressive symptoms improved to normal levels at follow-up. The outcome of back pain was predicted by pain-relatec disability and days in pain rather then by recency of onset, so it may be more meaningful To distinguish characteristic levels of pain Intensity, pain-related disability, and pain persistence than to classify patients as acute or chronic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-862
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Bark pain
  • Disability
  • Primary care
  • Prognosis
  • Sick role

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Back pain in primary care: Outcomes at 1 year'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this