A study of the natural history of low-back pain. Part II: development of guidelines for trials of treatment in primary care

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1983 Mar;8(2):145-50. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198303000-00005.


In a prospective study of 230 episodes of low-back pain presenting in primary care, the natural history of the symptom of low-back pain has been described. Clinical features predictive of outcome have been identified in order to define groups of patients who were relatively homogeneous with respect to the outcome of the episode. A Disability Questionnaire performed more satisfactorily as an outcome measure than either absence from work or a simple pain-rating scale. Guidelines for future trials of treatment of back pain in primary care are described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Back Pain / therapy*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Primary Health Care