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Patterns of diagnostic care in nonspecific low back pain: Relation to patient satisfaction and perceived health
Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States
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Research focused on identifying the best diagnostic approaches for nonspecific back pain establishes that physical and neurological exams are sufficient and that a secondary specialty evaluation does not add to the diagnosis or management of this condition. However, despite evidence based recommendations, these techniques continue to be used. Some reasons for this discrepancy are attributed to avoidance of litigation, financial incentives, adhering to patient wishes, improving perceived health, and overall patient satisfaction. The relationship between diagnostic procedures, patient satisfaction, and perceived health were investigated within the MHS health system, where the threat of litigation is minimal and financial incentives for such diagnostic procedures are absent.This study employed a cross-sectional design using health services and patient survey data on 15,789 individuals with nonspecific acute low back pain. Results indicate that when these secondary specialty procedures were used they either had no impact or were associated with lower levels of patient satisfaction and perceived health.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE