Operationalization of the new Pain and Disability Drivers Management model: A modified Delphi survey of multidisciplinary pain management experts

J Eval Clin Pract. 2020 Feb;26(1):316-325. doi: 10.1111/jep.13190. Epub 2019 Jul 3.


Background: We recently proposed the Pain and Disability Drivers Management (PDDM) model, which was designed to outline comprehensive factors driving pain and disability in low back pain (LBP). Although we have hypothesized and proposed 41 elements, which make up the model's five domains, we have yet to assess the external validity of the PDDM's elements by expert consensus.

Research objectives: This study aimed to reach consensus among experts regarding the different elements that should be included in each domain of the PDDM model.

Relevance: The PDDM may assist clinicians and researchers in the delivery of targeted care and ultimately enhance treatment outcomes in LBP.

Methods: Using a modified Delphi survey, a two-round online questionnaire was administered to a group of experts in musculoskeletal pain management. Participants were asked to rate the relevance of each element proposed within the model. Participants were also invited to add and rate new elements. Consensus was defined by a greater than or equal to 75% level of agreement.

Results: A total of 47 (round 1) and 33 (round 2) participants completed the survey. Following the first round, 38 of 41 of the former model elements reached consensus, and 10 new elements were proposed and later rated in the second round. Following this second round, consensus was reached for all elements (10 new + 3 from first round), generating a final model composed of 51 elements.

Conclusion: This expert consensus-derived list of clinical elements related to the management of LBP represents a first step in the validation of the PDDM model.

Keywords: Delphi survey; chronic pain; disability; low back pain; pain.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain* / therapy
  • Pain Management*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires