Reported Knowledge and Management of Acute Low Back Pain by United States Army Nurse Practitioners as Compared to Clinical Practice Guidelines Published by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States
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Acute low back pain ALBP is a major malady of a large percentage of patients seen in the primary care setting. Office visits for acute low back pain number second only to upper respiratory infections Jones, 97. Proper management of this condition would be facilitated by a consensus among providers as to treatment modalities. This goal can be obtained through the use of published clinical expert guidelines. Guidelines such as those published by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research AHCPR,U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are in existence, however the adherence of primary care providers to these is in question. Many studies have focused on this question as it relates to general medical officers, but few are oriented to Nurses Practitioners NP s and none to military NP s. This pilot study attempted to assess the knowledge and experience of Army NP s through the use of Benner s novice to expert model. Data collection was conducted through the use of a mailed survey to Nurse Practitioners on active duty in the United States Army in an Army Medical Center N10. The survey addressed issues in assessment, examination, diagnostic studies, treatment, learning opportunities, and experience with ALBP. A response rate of 66 was obtained. Nurse Practitioners surveyed scored 59 or better in adherence with the AHCPR guidelines. The data suggests a general need for further training among NP s in ALBP to include appropriate treatment and diagnostic modalities.