Comparison of spinal health indicators in predicting spinal status in a 1-year longitudinal study

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1993 Jan;18(1):54-60. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199301000-00009.


A 1-year longitudinal study was performed to assess and compare the predictive qualities of spinal health indicators (excluding the cervical spine) among aircraft assembly workers having at least 1 year seniority in a large assembly plant. Ten health indicators were compared to determine their sensitivity and predictive power with regard to back compensation and absenteeism in 12 months follow-up, and the presence of any limitation at work due to the back, or symptoms to the back at the end of the interval. The initial response to a self-administered questionnaire was obtained from 269 male workers, of whom 205 (76.2%) completed the follow-up questionnaire. Initial prevalence of symptoms to the back was 42.3%, limitation in performing at work was 28.1%, consultation of a health professional was 7.3%, and a history of compensation for the back (ever) was reported by 30.4%. During the year of follow-up, 16 (6%) of the 269 workers initially enrolled were granted 17 compensated episodes. Of the 205 workers who responded to the follow-up, 33 (16.1%) have been absent from work (with or without compensation) because of their back. The presence, at the beginning of the study, of a limitation in performing at work or in activities of daily living and a history of compensation (ever) were the three indicators independently associated with the occurrence of compensation or absenteeism (total work disability) related to a back problem during the following year.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Aircraft*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Occupational Health*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Spinal Diseases / complications
  • Spinal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Workers' Compensation