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Evidence-based guidelines to help physicians manage patients with acute low back pain

Date:
October 1, 2012
Source:
American College of Radiology (ACR)
Summary:
Radiologists have developed evidence-based guidelines to assist physicians with the process of managing patients with acute low back pain. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for visits to physicians in the outpatient setting.

According to an article in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, radiologists at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, and Georgia Health Sciences University, in Augusta, Ga., have developed evidence-based guidelines to assist physicians with the process of managing patients with acute low back pain. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for visits to physicians in the outpatient setting.

"The approach to the workup and management of low back pain by physicians and other practitioners is inconstant. In fact, there is significant variability in the diagnostic workup of back pain among physicians within and between specialties," said Scott E. Forseen, MD, co-author of the article.

The following process was developed to assist practitioners with the management of patients with low back pain:

At the initial visit, patients are categorized into 1 of 3 groups after a thorough history and physical examination: non-specific low back pain, low back pain potentially associated with radiculopathy or spinal stenosis, or low back pain potentially associated with a specific cause. Evidence-based order sets are provided for each category that are intended to guide practitioners through the process of evaluation, management and follow-up of patients.

Order set templates for use at the initial follow-up visit (4 weeks) provide evidence-based recommendations for appropriate imaging, laboratory workup, referral for invasive procedures or surgical consultation.

"We have presented a logical method of choosing, developing and implementing clinical decision support interventions that is based on the best available evidence. These templates may be reasonably expected to improve patient care, decrease inappropriate imaging utilization, reduce the inappropriate use of steroids and narcotics, and potentially decrease the number of inappropriate invasive procedures," said Forseen.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Radiology (ACR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Scott E. Forseen, Amanda S. Corey. Clinical Decision Support and Acute Low Back Pain: Evidence-Based Order Sets. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 2012; 9 (10): 704 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacr.2012.02.014

Cite This Page:

American College of Radiology (ACR). "Evidence-based guidelines to help physicians manage patients with acute low back pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001083332.htm>.
American College of Radiology (ACR). (2012, October 1). Evidence-based guidelines to help physicians manage patients with acute low back pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001083332.htm
American College of Radiology (ACR). "Evidence-based guidelines to help physicians manage patients with acute low back pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001083332.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

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