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      Randomised sham-controlled double-blind multicentre clinical trial to ascertain the effect of percutaneous radiofrequency treatment for lumbar facet joint pain

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      The Bone & Joint Journal

      British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery

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          Responsiveness of the numeric pain rating scale in patients with low back pain.

          Cohort study of patients with low back pain (LBP) receiving physical therapy. To examine the responsiveness characteristics of the numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) in patients with LBP using a variety of methods. Although several studies have assessed the reliability and validity of the NPRS, few studies have characterized its responsiveness in patients with LBP. Determination of change on the NPRS during 1 and 4 weeks was examined by calculating mean change, standardized effect size, Guyatt Responsiveness Index, area under a receiver operating characteristic curve, minimum clinically important difference, and minimum detectable change. Change in the NPRS from baseline to the 1 and 4-week follow-up was compared to the average of the patient and therapist's perceived improvement using the 15-point Global Rating of Change scale. The majority of patients had clinically meaningful improvement after both 1 and 4 weeks of rehabilitation. The standard error of measure was equal to 1.02, corresponding to a minimum detectable change of 2 points. The area under the curve at the 1 and 4-week follow-up was 0.72 (0.62, 0.81) and 0.92 (0.86, 0.97), respectively. The minimum clinically important difference at the 1 and 4-week follow-up corresponded to a change of 2.2 and 1.5 points, respectively. Clinicians can be confident that a 2-point change on the NPRS represents clinically meaningful change that exceeds the bounds of measurement error.
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            A comparison of pain rating scales by sampling from clinical trial data.

            The goals of this study were to examine agreement and estimate differences in sensitivity between pain assessment scales. Multiple simultaneous pain assessments by patients in acute pain after oral surgery were used to compare a four-category verbal rating scale (VRS-4) and an 11-point numeric rating scale (NRS-11) with a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS). The sensitivity of the scales (i.e., their ability [power] to detect differences between treatments) was compared in a simulation model by sampling from true pairs of observations using varying treatment differences of predetermined size. There was considerable variability in VAS scores within each VRS-4 or NRS-11 category both between patients and for repeated measures from the same patient. Simulation experiments showed that the VAS was systematically more powerful than the VRS-4 in all simulations performed. The sensitivity of the VAS and NRS-11 was approximately equal. In this acute pain model, the VRS-4 was less sensitive than the VAS. The simulation results demonstrated similar sensitivity of the NRS-11 and VAS when comparing acute postoperative pain intensity. The choice between the VAS and NRS-11 can thus be based on subjective preferences.
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              The effect of graded activity on patients with subacute low back pain: a randomized prospective clinical study with an operant-conditioning behavioral approach.

              The aim of this study was to determine whether graded activity restored occupational function in industrial blue-collar workers who were sick-listed for 8 weeks because of subacute, nonspecific, mechanical low back pain (LBP). Patients with LBP, who had been examined by an orthopedic surgeon and a social worker, were randomly assigned to either an activity group (n = 51) or a control group (n = 52). Patients with defined orthopedic, medical, or psychiatric diagnoses were excluded before randomization. The graded activity program consisted of four parts: (1) measurements of functional capacity; (2) a work-place visit; (3) back school education; and (4) an individual, submaximal, gradually increased exercise program, with an operant-conditioning behavioral approach, based on the results of the tests and the demands of the patient's work. Records of the amount of sick leave taken over a 3-year period (ie, the 1-year periods before, during, and after intervention) were obtained from each patient's Social Insurance Office. The patients in the activity group returned to work significantly earlier than did the patients in the control group. The median number of physical therapist appointments before return to work was 5, and the average number of appointments was 10.7 (SD = 12.3). The average duration of sick leave attributable to LBP during the second follow-up year was 12.1 weeks (SD = 18.4) in the activity group and 19.6 weeks (SD = 20.7) in the control group. Four patients in the control group and 1 patient in the activity group received permanent disability pensions. The graded activity program made the patients occupationally functional again, as measured by return to work and significantly reduced long-term sick leave.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The Bone & Joint Journal
                The Bone & Joint Journal
                British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery
                2049-4394
                November 01 2016
                November 01 2016
                : 98-B
                : 11
                : 1526-1533
                Article
                10.1302/0301-620X.98B11.BJJ-2016-0379.R2
                © 2016

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