Background: Shoulder pain is a common complaint in primary health care and has an unfavourable outcome in many patients. The objectives were to identify predictors for pain and disability (SPADI) and work status in patients with subacromial shoulder pain.
Methods: Secondary analyses of data from a randomized clinical controlled trial were performed. Outcome measures were the absolute values of the combined Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) and work status 1 year after treatment with supervised exercises (SE) or radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy (rESWT). Predictors of outcome were investigated using multiple linear regression (SPADI) and logistic regression (work status).
Results: 104 patients were included. Low education (≤ 12 years), previous shoulder pain, and a high baseline SPADI score predicted poor results with these variables explaining 29.9% of the variance in SPADI score at 1 year. Low education and poor self-reported health status predicted a work status of "not working": Odds Ratio, OR = 4.3(95% CI (1.3 to 14.9)), p = 0.02 for education, and OR = 1.06 (95% CI (1.0 to 1.1)), p = 0.001 for self-reported health status, respectively. Adjustments for age, gender, and treatment group were performed, but did not change the results.
Conclusion: Education was the most consistent predictor of pain and disability, and work status at 1 year follow-up. Also, baseline SPADI score, previous shoulder pain and self-reported health status predicted outcome.
Trial registration: Clinical trials NCT00653081.