Background: The current utilisation of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) for low back pain (LBP) within the Australian Chiropractic profession is unknown. The aims of this study were to determine the current utilisation of LBP PROMs amongst Chiropractors in Australia and to identify the potential barriers and facilitators of using PROMs for LBP in Chiropractic practice.
Methods: A cross sectional online survey was distributed to Chiropractors in Australia who were members of the Chiropractic Association of Australia (CAA) and Chiropractic Australia (CA) between June–August 2016. Three thousand fourteen CAA members and 930 CA members were invited to participate totaling 3944 potential participants.
Results: The findings from this survey provides baseline data for the prevalence of LBP PROMs within the Australian chiropractic profession. A total of 558 participants completed the survey reflecting a response rate of 14.1%. 72.5% of respondents used LBP PROMs in clinical practice. PROMs were categorised into pain, function and health. At initial patient consultations the most commonly used pain PROMs were the pain diagram, Visual Analogue Scale and Numeric Rating Scale. Most commonly used functional LBP PROMs were the Oswestry Disability Index, Functional Rating Index and Roland Morris Questionnaire. The Health Status Questionnaire (HSQ) was the most commonly used health LBP PROM followed by RAND Health Questionnaires.
Conclusion: Most of the survey respondents use PROMs in clinical practice. The most common barrier chiropractors identified that prevent LBP PROM utilisation was the lack of operational definition surrounding PROMs, as well as how to use them and the perception that they are time consuming. Facilitatory factors to implement PROMs included using simple administration systems, utilising electronic forms and consistent implementation. This research indicates that there is a potential need to further educate the Chiropractic profession regarding PROMs.
Author keywords: Patient reported outcome measures — Low back pain — Chiropractic
Author affiliations: Department of Exercise & Health Sciences. School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Branyan, Queensland, Australia
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