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Eur J Pain. 2011 Nov;15(10):1068-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpain.2011.04.015. Epub 2011 May 18.

Reporting outcomes of back pain trials: a modified Delphi study.

Author information

1
Centre for Health Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Yvonne Carter Building, Turner Street, Whitechapel, London E12AT, UK. r.j.froud@qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Low back pain is a common and expensive health complaint. Many low back pain trials have been conducted, but these are reported in a variety of ways and are often difficult to interpret.

AIM:

To facilitate consensus on a statement recommending reporting methods for future low back pain trials.

METHODS:

We presented experts with clinicians' views on different reporting methods and asked them to rate and comment on the suitability reporting methods for inclusion in a standardized set. Panellists developed a statement of recommendation over three online rounds. We used a modified Delphi process and the RAND/UCLA appropriateness method as a formal framework for establishing appropriateness and quantifying panel disagreement.

RESULTS:

A group of 63 experts from 14 countries participated. Consensus was reached on a statement recommending that the continuous patient-reported outcomes commonly used in back pain trials, are reported using between-group mean differences (accompanied by minimally important difference (between-group/population-level) thresholds where these exist), the proportion of participants improving and deteriorating according to established and relevant minimally important change thresholds, and the number needed to treat; all with 95% confidence intervals. Outcomes may additionally be reported using alternative approaches (e.g. relative risks, odds ratios, or standardized mean difference) according to the needs of a particular trial.

CONCLUSIONS:

A group of back pain experts reached a high level of consensus on a statement recommending reporting methods for patient-reported outcomes in future low back pain trials. The statement has the potential to increase interpretability and improve patient care.

PMID:
21596600
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejpain.2011.04.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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