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Orthopade. 2004 May;33(5):545-52.

[Questionnaires for patients with back pain. Diagnosis and outcome assessment].

[Article in German]

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Schulthess-Klinik Z├╝rich. AJUNGE@KWS.CH


Self-assessment questionnaires are becoming increasingly important in the evaluation and outcome-assessment of low back pain patients, both in the research environment and in everyday clinical practice. Questionnaires allow a standardised, patient-orientated examination of the symptoms and effects of the disease as well as the assessment of change following treatment. The aim of the current review was to provide a summary of the questionnaires that are currently available in the German language for the assessment of patients with low back pain; the review focuses on those that have been shown to be reliable and valid and widely-used on an international basis. The following topics are considered: (1) current pain experience and pain history, (2) disability due to low back pain, (3) coping with pain and psychological disturbance, (4) general health status and (5) outcome. Depending on the aim of the study, the evaluation of outcome may involve disease-specific symptoms (pain and disability), general health status, the ability to work, and the utilisation of health care resources (medical consultations, treatment, use of medication). For the analysis of treatment effects, prospective assessment of the relevant characteristics is recommended - that is, assessments should be made before the treatment and again with identical questionnaires at follow-up. Especially within the context of scientific studies, instruments should be chosen that enable an international comparison of the data generated. In everyday clinical routine, a short standardised documentation of the most important dimensions is recommended.

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