Our local hospital wants to start a back school for people with back pain lasting more than one month. What can we use as measures of "success"?

There are four measures used by many researchers when studying back pain. In fact these are considered the most important ones:

  • Pain (rated on a scale from zero for 'no pain' to 10 for 'most pain')
  • Number of days off work
  • Overall improvement (patient report)
  • Function

    Other measures can include motion, strength, and flexibility. These are considered secondary outcomes. There isn't always a link between these measures and the clinical status of the patient.

    Sometimes medication use is also measured before, during, and after treatment.