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What do clinicians consider when assessing chronic low back pain? A content analysis of multidisciplinary pain centre team assessments of functioning, disability, and health
journal contributionposted on 23.01.2019, 00:00 authored by KS Bagraith, J Strong, Pamela Meredith, SM McPhail
Beyond expert suggestions as to the appropriate subject matter for chronic pain assessments, little is known about the actual content of multidisciplinary pain centre (MPC) clinical assessments. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Low Back Pain Core Set (ICF LBP-CS) provides a universal language to support the consistent description of LBP-related assessments across disciplines within multidisciplinary teams (MDTs). This study sought to map the content of MPC clinical assessments to the ICF to: (1) identify and compare the content of clinical MDT assessments using a cross-disciplinary framework and (2) examine the content validity of the LBP-CS. A qualitative examination of MPC team clinical assessments of chronic low back pain was undertaken. Multidisciplinary team (pain medicine, psychiatry, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and psychology) assessments were audio-recorded and transcribed. Concepts were extracted from transcripts using a meaning condensation procedure and then linked to the ICF. Across 7 MDT assessments, comprised 42 discipline-specific assessments and 241,209 transcribed words, 8596 concepts were extracted. Contextual factors (ie, the person and environment), except for physiotherapy, accounted for almost half of each discipline's assessments (range: 49%-58%). Concepts spanned 113 second-level ICF categories, including 73/78 LBP-CS categories. Overall, the findings revealed novel insights into the content of MPC clinical assessments that can be used to improve health care delivery. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health-based assessment profiles demonstrated unique contributions from each discipline to chronic low back pain assessment. Finally, users of the LBP-CS can be confident that the tool exhibits sound content validity from the perceptive of MDT assessments of functioning, disability, and health.