The Back Disability Risk Questionnaire for work-related, acute back pain: prediction of unresolved problems at 3-month follow-up

J Occup Environ Med. 2009 Feb;51(2):185-94. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318192bcf8.


Objective: To assess the validity of the Back Disability Risk Questionnaire (BDRQ) to predict developing chronic back disability.

Methods: Five hundred nineteen working adults (67% male) seeking outpatient care for acute, work-related back pain (<or=14 days) completed the BDRQ. After the initial medical evaluation, clinicians provided prognostic impressions in a 10-item questionnaire. Pain, functional limitation, and work status were assessed at 3-month follow-up.

Results: In multivariate analyses, the presence of persistent pain, functional limitation, or impaired work status (31.4%) was predicted by six BDRQ questions: injury type, work absence preceding medical evaluation, job tenure, prior back surgery, worries about re-injury, expectation for early return-to-work, and stress. Classification accuracy at 3 months was 76.3%. Initial clinician impressions showed no multivariate associations with outcomes.

Conclusions: The BDRQ may provide prognostic information not observed in a routine medical evaluation for acute BP.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Back Pain / physiopathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires