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Application of a diagnosis-based clinical decision guide in patients with neck pain

Author(s): Murphy Donald R | Hurwitz Eric L

Journal: Chiropractic and Manual Therapies
ISSN 2045-709X

Volume: 19;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 19;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Neck pain (NP) is a common cause of disability. Accurate and efficacious methods of diagnosis and treatment have been elusive. A diagnosis-based clinical decision guide (DBCDG; previously referred to as a diagnosis-based clinical decision rule) has been proposed which attempts to provide the clinician with a systematic, evidence-based guide in applying the biopsychosocial model of care. The approach is based on three questions of diagnosis. The purpose of this study is to present the prevalence of findings using the DBCDG in consecutive patients with NP. Methods Demographic, diagnostic and baseline outcome measure data were gathered on a cohort of NP patients examined by one of three examiners trained in the application of the DBCDG. Results Data were gathered on 95 patients. Signs of visceral disease or potentially serious illness were found in 1%. Centralization signs were found in 27%, segmental pain provocation signs were found in 69% and radicular signs were found in 19%. Clinically relevant myofascial signs were found in 22%. Dynamic instability was found in 40%, oculomotor dysfunction in 11.6%, fear beliefs in 31.6%, central pain hypersensitivity in 4%, passive coping in 5% and depression in 2%. Conclusion The DBCDG can be applied in a busy private practice environment. Further studies are needed to investigate clinically relevant means to identify central pain hypersensitivity, oculomotor dysfunction, poor coping and depression, correlations and patterns among the diagnostic components of the DBCDG as well as inter-examiner reliability, validity and efficacy of treatment based on the DBCDG.
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