OBJECTIVE: To provide a detailed description of the methods undertaken in a systematic search and perform a best evidence synthesis on the frequency, determinants, assessment, interventions, course and prognosis of neck pain, and its associated disorders.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Neck pain is an important cause of health burden; however, the published information is vast, and stakeholders would benefit from a summary of the best evidence.
METHODS: The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and its Associated Disorders conducted a systematic search and critical review of the literature published between 1980 and 2006 to assemble the best evidence on neck pain. Citations were screened for relevance to the Neck Pain Task Force mandate, using a priori criteria, and relevant studies were critically reviewed for their internal scientific validity. Findings from studies meeting criteria for scientific validity were synthesized into a best evidence synthesis. RESULTS: We found 31,878 citations, of which 1203 were relevant to the mandate of the Neck Pain Task Force. After critical review, 552 studies (46%) were judged scientifically admissible and were compiled into the best evidence synthesis.
CONCLUSION: The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and its Associated Disorders undertook a best evidence synthesis to establish a baseline of the current best evidence on the epidemiology, assessment and classification of neck pain, as well as interventions and prognosis for this symptom. This article reports the methods used and the outcomes from the review. We found that 46% of the research literature was of acceptable scientific quality to inform clinical practice, policy-making, and future research.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Click on the above link for the PubMed record; full text by subscription. Republished from: Spine 2008 Feb 15;33(4 Suppl):S33-38. Free full text is available through PubMed Central.