The purpose of this study was to compare the predictive ability of the standardised screening tool Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire (ÖMPQ) and the clinicians' prognostic assessment in identifying patients with low back pain (LBP) and neck pain at risk for persistent pain and disability at eight weeks follow-up. Patients seeking care for LBP or neck pain were recruited by 19 manual therapists in Norway. Patients completed the ÖMPQ and the low back- or neck specific Oswestry Disability Index/Neck Disability Index at baseline and 8 weeks after first consultation. The manual therapists filled in their assessment of patient's prognosis immediately after the first consultation, blinded for patient's answers to the questionnaire. A total of 157 patients (81with neck pain and 76 with LBP) were included. The best odds for predicting the outcome for LBP patients was found for the clinicians' assessment of prognosis (LR+ = 2.1 and LR- = 0.55), whereas the likelihood ratios were similar for the two tools in the neck group. For LBP patients, both the clinicians' assessment and the ÖMPQ contributed significantly in the separate regression models (p = 0.02 and p = 0.002, resp), whereas none of the tools where significant contributors for neck patients (p = 0.67 and 0.07). Neither of the two methods showed high precision in their predictions of follow-up at eight weeks. However, for LBP patients, the ÖMPQ and the clinicians' prognostic assessment contributed significantly in the prediction of functional outcome 8 weeks after the initial assessment of manual therapist, whereas the prediction for neck patients was unsure.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.