Trajectories of low-back pain from adolescence to young adulthood

Pieter Coenen, Anne Smith, Markus Paananen, Peter O'Sullivan, Darren Beales, Leon Straker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Abstract\nOBJECTIVE: Despite its high prevalence and burden, understanding of the course of disabling low-back pain (LBP) during the transition from adolescence to adulthood is limited. The aim of this study was to identify and describe trajectories of LBP and its impact among a general population sample followed from adolescence to young adulthood.\n\nMETHODS: Data from follow-up assessments at years 17, 20 and 22 of the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study were used (n=1,249). Self-reported LBP and its impact on daily life were assessed, and latent class analysis used to identify clusters. Resultant clusters were profiled on gender, waist circumference, diagnosed co-morbid pain and health related quality of life.\n\nRESULTS: Four clusters were identified: A cluster of participants with consistently low prevalence of LBP and its impact (53%) during the period from adolescence to young adulthood, a cluster with an increase in prevalence of LBP and its impact (22%), a cluster with a decrease in prevalence of LBP and its impact (15%); and a cluster with consistently high prevalence of LBP and its impact (10%). These clusters differed markedly on the profiling variables.\n\nCONCLUSION: The identified clusters provide unique information on LBP and its impact during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. Consideration of these trajectories may be important for the design of early prevention and management strategies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArthritis care & research
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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