Send to

Choose Destination
Eur Spine J. 2011 Jun;20(6):912-22. doi: 10.1007/s00586-010-1673-6. Epub 2011 Jan 15.

Development of a clinical prediction rule to identify patients with neck pain who are likely to benefit from home-based mechanical cervical traction.

Author information

Rehabilitation Department, Alexandra Hospital, 378 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159964, Singapore.


The objective of the study was to identify the population of patients with neck pain who improved with home-based mechanical cervical traction (HMCT). A prospective cohort study was conducted in a physical therapy clinic at a local hospital. Patients with neck pain referred to the clinic for physical therapy were included in the study. A HMCT program was given to participants for 2 weeks. The patient's demographic data, Numerical Pain Scale (NPS) score, Neck Disability Index (NDI) and Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire score were collected, and standard physical examination of the cervical spine was conducted before intervention. The NPS score, NDI and a global rating of perceived improvement were collected after the intervention was completed. A total of 103 patients participated in the study and 47 had a positive response to HMCT. A clinical prediction rule with four variables (Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Work Subscale score < 13, pre-intervention pain intensity ≥ 7/10, positive cervical distraction test and pain below shoulder) was identified. With satisfaction of at least three out of four variables (positive likelihood ratio = 4.77), the intervention's success rate increased from 45.6% to over 80%. It appears that patients with neck pain who are likely to respond to HMCT may be identified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center