Report of the NIH task force on research standards for chronic low back pain

Richard A. Deyo, Samuel F. Dworkin, Dagmar Amtmann, Gunnar Andersson, David Borenstein, Eugene Carragee, John Carrino, Roger Chou, Karon Cook, Anthony Delitto, Christine Goertz, Partap Khalsa, John Loeser, Sean Mackey, James Panagis, James Rainville, Tor Tosteson, Dennis Turk, Michael Von Korff, Debra K. Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Despite rapidly increasing intervention, functional disability due to chronic low back pain (cLBP) has increased in recent decades. We often cannot identify mechanisms to explain the major negative impact cLBP has on patients' lives. Such cLBP is often termed non-specific, and may be due to multiple biologic and behavioral etiologies. Researchers use varied inclusion criteria, definitions, baseline assessments, and outcome measures, which impede comparisons and consensus. Design: Expert panel and preliminary evaluation of key recommendations. Methods: The NIH Pain Consortium charged a Research Task Force (RTF) to draft standards for research on cLBP. The resulting multidisciplinary panel developed a 3-stage process, each with a 2-day meeting. Results: The panel recommended using 2 questions to define cLBP; classifying cLBP by its impact (defined by pain intensity, pain interference, and physical function); use of a minimal data set to describe research subjects (drawing heavily on the PROMIS methodology); reporting "responder analyses" in addition to mean outcome scores; and suggestions for future research and dissemination. The Pain Consortium has approved the recommendations, which investigators should incorporate into NIH grant proposals. Conclusion: The RTF believes these recommendations will advance the field, help to resolve controversies, and facilitate future research addressing the genomic, neurologic, and other mechanistic substrates of chronic low back pain. Greater consistency in reporting should facilitate comparisons among studies and the development of phenotypes. We expect the RTF recommendations will become a dynamic document, and undergo continual improvement. Perspective: A task force was convened by the NIH Pain Consortium with the goal of developing research standards for chronic low back pain. The results included recommendations for definitions, a minimum dataset, reporting outcomes, and future research. Greater consistency in reporting should facilitate comparisons among studies and the development of phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1267
Number of pages19
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Volume15
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Chronic low back pain
  • Low back pain
  • Minimum dataset
  • NIH task force
  • Research standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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    Deyo, R. A., Dworkin, S. F., Amtmann, D., Andersson, G., Borenstein, D., Carragee, E., Carrino, J., Chou, R., Cook, K., Delitto, A., Goertz, C., Khalsa, P., Loeser, J., Mackey, S., Panagis, J., Rainville, J., Tosteson, T., Turk, D., Korff, M. V., & Weiner, D. K. (2014). Report of the NIH task force on research standards for chronic low back pain. Pain Medicine (United States), 15(8), 1249-1267. https://doi.org/10.1111/pme.12538