Care-seeking among individuals with chronic low back pain.

TitleCare-seeking among individuals with chronic low back pain.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsCarey, TS, Evans, A, Hadler, N, Kalsbeek, W, McLaughlin, C, Fryer, J
Date Published1995 Feb 1
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Chronic Disease, Cross-Sectional Studies, Direct Service Costs, Female, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Low Back Pain, Male, Middle Aged, North Carolina, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Prevalence, Retrospective Studies

STUDY DESIGN: This was a stratified, random telephone survey of adults in North Carolina.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of chronic low back pain and the extent to which treatment is sought for this condition.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Chronic low back pain is a major problem. Previous studies often have combined acute and chronic back pain.

METHODS: Telephone interviews regarding back pain were conducted with 4437 North Carolina adults during 1992.

RESULTS: Chronic back pain affects 3.9% of the North Carolina population. Thirty-four percent considered themselves permanently disabled and 52% assessed their overall health as fair or poor. The median number of bed-disability days per year was three. Seventy-three percent saw a health care provider. Of those who sought care, 91% saw a medical doctor, 29% saw a physical therapist, and 25% saw a chiropractor. Use of technology was extensive: 37% received a computed tomography scan, 25% received a magnetic resonance imaging scan, and 10.4% underwent surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: Chronic back pain is common, and the level of care-seeking and costs of care among those afflicted are extremely high.

Alternate JournalSpine
PubMed ID7732467

CSRL Publication Type: