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Publication: Clinical course and prognostication among older adults with back pain

Publication: The one-year clinical course of back-related disability and the prognostic value of comorbidity among older adults with back pain in primary care.

Authors: Ørjan Nesse Vigdal, Kjersti Storheim, Rikke Munk Killingmo, Milada Cvancarova Småstuen, Margreth Grotle.

Journal: Pain

Objective: To describe the course of back-related disability over 1 year of follow-up among older adults with back pain, and to assess the prognostic value of comorbidity.

This study was a part of the Back Complaints in the Elders – Norway project. We assessed 452 older adults (aged 55-89 years) who sought primary care for their back pain. The participants were followed for one year. We found that most of the participants experienced an improvement in back-related disability within the follow-up year. The most pronounced improvement happened between the initial testing and the three-month follow-up. Back-related disability levels were fairly stable between three months and one year. We also found that comorbidity had prognostic value: Participants with more comorbidities had worse back-related disability throughout the follow-up year. This meant that baseline comorbidity levels could help predict future back-related disability, over and above other factors with known prognostic value. The study provides valuable information for clinicians when meeting older adults with back pain in primary care, and could be an important stepping stone for further evaluation the role of comorbidity for these patients.

Published: September 08 2022, in Pain


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