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J Orthop Sci. 2014 May;19(3):412-7. doi: 10.1007/s00776-014-0551-1. Epub 2014 Feb 26.

Awareness and use of diagnostic support tools for lumbar spinal stenosis in Japan.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan, sohtori@faculty.chiba-u.jp.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a major clinical problem associated with back pain, intermittent claudication, leg pain, and leg numbness. Diagnostic support tools for LSS such as the self-administered, self-reported history questionnaire (SSHQ) and developmental clinical diagnosis support tool (ST) have been validated in Japan. However, the degree of awareness and use of these two diagnostic support tools for LSS in Japan has not been clarified. The aims of the current study were to determine the degree of awareness and use of these two diagnostic support tools by Japanese physicians. Furthermore, we compared these results among nonorthopedic general practitioner (GP), orthopedic GP, and hospital-based orthopedic physicians.

METHODS:

The LSS Diagnosis Support Tool (DISTO) Project was conducted to evaluate the degree of awareness and use of these two diagnostic support tools in Japan from 2011 to 2012. A total of 1,811 answers were obtained from physicians including nonorthopedic general practitioners (GP), orthopedic GPs, and hospital-based orthopedic physicians. Questions were (1) Do you know about these two diagnostic tools? and (2) If you know about these two diagnostic tools, have you used them?

RESULTS:

The degree of awareness of ST and SSHQ was about 30 and 26 % by nonorthopedic GPs, 70 and 46 % by orthopedic GPs, and 68 and 41 % by hospital-based orthopedic physicians. The degree of awareness of ST and SSHQ by nonorthopedic GPs was significantly lower than by orthopedic GPs or hospital-based orthopedic physicians (p < 0.001). For physicians who were aware of ST and SSHQ, the degree of use of ST or SSHQ was <50 % by nonorthopedic GPs, orthopedic GPs, and hospital-based orthopedic physicians.

CONCLUSIONS:

We expect that use of the ST or SSHQ tools in primary care will improve the accuracy of diagnosis and lead to improved quality of patient care. The low proportion of awareness by nonorthopedic GPs (<30 %) and use by all physicians (<50 %) indicate a need to encourage physicians to use ST and SSHQ more frequently.

PMID:
24570300
DOI:
10.1007/s00776-014-0551-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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