Study Design: Longitudinal, observational cohort study.
Methods: In all, 12,509 adults with LBP were identified as having been discharged from the pathway, between May 2015 and December 2019. To quantify any association between baseline pain duration and the likelihood of re-referral, two statistical modelling approaches, were used: logistic regression models for odds ratios and generalised linear models with a binomial link function in order to quantify risk differences.
Results: Twenty-five percent of patients with LBP, who were discharged, re-referred for management over a 4.5-year period. A large difference in pain duration of 2SD days was statistically associated with re-referral, with an odds ratio of 1.2 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.44) and a risk difference of 3.6% (95% CI: 0.6, 6.6). Nevertheless, the predictive value of an individual’s pain duration was found to be weak for re-referral. Higher baseline disability [odds ratio of 1.40 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.83)] and a younger age at baseline [odds ratio of 0.73 (95% CI 0.61, 0.86)] were also associated with an increased risk of re-referral.
Conclusions: Baseline pain duration, disability and younger age are statistically associated with re-referral onto the NERBPP. However, the value of these variables for predicting an individual’s risk of re-referral is weak.