An algorithm comprising 7 baseline variables predicted the 2-year work disability status in nonspecific back pain: COMMENTARY

Evans, Arthur T.; Hadler, Nortin M.
November 2005
ACP Journal Club;Nov/Dec2005, Vol. 143 Issue 3, p81
Academic Journal
This article comments on a clinical study according to which an algorithm comprising 7 baseline variables predicted the 2-year work disability status in nonspecific back pain. First, it should be validated in another setting, and its clinical use should be shown to cause more good than harm. Second, the rule's potential use is suspect, considering that 40% of predictions in the validation sample were erroneous. Another striking observation is that outcome status at 12 weeks had a predictive accuracy of over 90%. That prolonged disability seals one's fate is a long-standing reproach to all involved in workplace health and safety.


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