Purpose: To identify prognostic factors for perceived pain and function with focus at one-year follow-up in primary care patients treated for non-specific neck pain.
Methods: A prospective study was performed including 193 neck pain patients. Before and after treatment period, and 12 months after the start date for treatment, patients completed a questionnaire including background data and aspects of pain, function and general health. Linear multiple regression analysis was used to identify prognostic factors with the dependent variables Oswestry score and pain intensity at 12-month follow-up. Response rate 81%.
Results: At 12-month follow-up, Oswestry score identified four prognostic factors: pain intensity; well-being; expectations of treatment; and duration of current episode. Adjusted R2 for the model was 0.32, and 20% of the patients had three of the four prognostic factors at entry, indicating risk of poor outcome. The dependent variable pain intensity revealed three prognostic factors: Oswestry score; duration of current episode; and similar problem during the previous five years. Adjusted R2 was 0.24, and 60% of the patients had two of the three prognostic factors at entry, indicating risk of poor outcome.
Conclusions: Different prognostic factors (with the exception of duration of current episode) were identified by the two outcome variables. Thus the results suggest that it should be taken into account whether an impairment or disability outcome is used.