Primary Care Research Priorities in Low Back Pain

Costa et al. (2013) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

low back pain

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?


Why was it conducted at all?

Twelve years have passed since the second forum’s eval uation of research priorities, suggesting the need for re examination. The past decade has seen a proliferation of new research on subgroup identifi cation, early and delayed risk factors for poor outcomes, and new studies on cogni tive behavioral approaches for chronic LBP. There has been more attention to work status as an essential outcome dimen sion, and recognition that improvement in impairments such as range of motion or strength do not guarantee improvement in functional or occupational outcomes. Given these devel opments, we sought the opinions of leading LBP researchers about progress in the priority areas identifi ed 12 years ago, whether these priorities have changed, and promising new areas for investigation. Our goal was to provide further guid ance for future LBP research projects and funding agencies.

What was the objective?

to reassess an existing list of research priorities in primary care low back pain (LBP) and to develop a new research agenda

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 25 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

1 day, 2009

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: survey 1: to re-evaluate the 1997 research priorities and to develop a new research agenda, participants asked to reassess previous research agenda and explore current research priorities, participants asked to rate the progress made on each research priority during the past 12 years, to rate the importance to researchers and to clinicians, and the feasibility of each research priority, participants were also asked to list the 5 most important primary care-relevant LBP research questions for a new research agenda. Step 2: survey 2: top 25 most prevalent items from survey 1 (current most important research questions), participants were asked to identify the top 5 priorities and rank them

Which stakeholders took part?

Back pain clinicians and researchers. Survey 1: 179 participants. Survey 2: 145 participants (32.4% physicians, 36.6% physical therapists, 9% chiropractors, 5.5% psychologists, 22.8% epidemiologists, 0.7% occupational therapists, 2.1% physiologists).

How were stakeholders recruited?

Participants were recruited as attendees at the 2009 forum on primary care research on LBP.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.