Physician views about treating low back pain

The results of a national survey

Daniel C. Cherkin, Richard (Rick) Deyo, Kimberly Wheeler, Marcia A. Ciol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Study Design. Physicians were surveyed regarding their beliefs a bout treatment efficacy for patients with low back pain. Objective. To document physician beliefs about the efficacy of specific treatments and the extent to which these beliefs correspond to current knowledge. Summary of Background Data. Little is known about physician beliefs regarding the efficacy of specific back pain treatments. Methods. A national random sample of 2897 physicians were mailed questionnaires that asked about 1) the treatments they would order for hypothetical patients with low back pain and 2) the treatments they believed were effective for back pain. Responses were compares with guide lines suggested by the Quebec Task Force on Spinal Disorders. Results. Almost 1200 physicians responded. More than 80% of these physicians believed physical therapy is effective, but this consensus was lacking for other treatments. Fewer than half of the physicians believed that spinal manipulation is effective for acute or chronic back pain or that epidural steroid injections, traction, and corsets are effective for acute back pain. Bed rest and narcotic analgesics were recommended by substantial minorities of physicians for patients with chronic pain. The Quebc Task Force found little scientific support for the effectiveness of most of the treatments found to be in common use. Conclusions. The lack of consensus among physicians could be attributable to the absence of clear evidence- based clinical guidelines, ignorance or rejection of existing scientific evidence, excessive commitment to a particular mode of therapy, or a tendency to discount the efficacy of competing treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSpine
Volume20
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Low Back Pain
Physicians
Back Pain
Advisory Committees
Chronic Pain
Therapeutics
Spinal Manipulation
Epidural Injections
Surveys and Questionnaires
Bed Rest
Quebec
Narcotics
Acute Pain
Traction
Steroids
Guidelines

Keywords

  • Back pain
  • Medical specialties treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physiology

Cite this

Cherkin, D. C., Deyo, R. R., Wheeler, K., & Ciol, M. A. (1995). Physician views about treating low back pain: The results of a national survey. Spine, 20(1), 1-9.

Physician views about treating low back pain : The results of a national survey. / Cherkin, Daniel C.; Deyo, Richard (Rick); Wheeler, Kimberly; Ciol, Marcia A.

In: Spine, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1995, p. 1-9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cherkin, DC, Deyo, RR, Wheeler, K & Ciol, MA 1995, 'Physician views about treating low back pain: The results of a national survey', Spine, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 1-9.
Cherkin, Daniel C. ; Deyo, Richard (Rick) ; Wheeler, Kimberly ; Ciol, Marcia A. / Physician views about treating low back pain : The results of a national survey. In: Spine. 1995 ; Vol. 20, No. 1. pp. 1-9.
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