Choosing the right outcome measurement instruments for patients with low back pain

Alessandro Chiarotto, Caroline B. Terwee, Raymond W. Ostelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Choosing the most fit-for-purpose outcome measurement instruments is fundamental because using inappropriate instruments can lead to detection bias and measurement inconsistency. Recent recommendations, consensus procedures and systematic reviews on existing patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) informed this manuscript, which provides suggestions on which outcome domains and measurement instruments to use in patients with low back pain (LBP). Six domains are identified as highly relevant: (1) physical functioning, (2) pain intensity, (3) health-related quality of life, (4) work, (5) psychological functioning and (6) pain interference. For each domain, one or more PROMs are suggested for clinical research and practice, selecting among those that are most frequently used and recommended, and that have satisfactory measurement properties in patients with LBP. Further research on the measurement properties of these suggested PROMs is needed while also considering other emerging instruments, such as the PROMIS computerised adaptive testing and short forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1020
Number of pages18
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Health-related quality of life
  • Low back pain
  • Outcome measurement instruments
  • Pain intensity
  • Pain interference
  • Physical functioning
  • Psychological functioning
  • Work

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