OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this paper were to establish optimal cut-points in pain severity in individuals with neck pain and to investigate if the cut-points were influenced by gender and age.
METHODS: Data from the population-based 'Funen Neck and Chest Pain Study' was used. Univariate and multivariate analyses of variance were performed to calculate optimal single and double cut-points for three different pain intensity scores within the past 2 weeks relative to two neck disability scales ('global assessment of neck pain' and the 'Copenhagen Neck Functional Disability Scale').
RESULTS: The two disability scales showed small differences in optimal cut-points. Furthermore, cut-points changed for each of the three pain intensity scales. Only small gender differences in cut-points were seen and no specific trend was noted in either single or double cut-points in different age groups.
CONCLUSION: This paper has implications for understanding the impact of using different pain intensity scales and provides reference cut-points in neck pain for use in future clinical and epidemiological research.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND FUNDING: This study was supported by the Foundation of Chiropractic Research and Post Graduate Education, and the Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Odense University Hospital.
The authors thank Lars Korsholm, PhD, Department of Statistics, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, for fruitful comments on the statistical methods in this study.
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