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Table 1

Return to:   Prognosis in Patients with Recent Onset Low Back Pain in Australian Primary Care

 Baseline characteristics of eligible participants. Figures are numbers (percentages) of patients unless stated otherwise

VariableParticipants (n=969)
Mean (SD) age (years)43.3 (14.4)
Male527 (54.8)
Primary care clinician:
 General practitioner184 (19.0)
 Physiotherapist755 (77.9)
 Chiropractor30 (3.1)
Born in Australia680 (70.2)
Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander8 (0.8)
Smoker188 (19.4)
Exercising regularly564 (58.2)
Self rated health:
 Poor3 (0.3)
 Fair63 (6.5)
 Good338 (34.9)
 Very good397 (41.0)
 Excellent168 (17.3)
Highest level of education diploma or higher*411 (42.4)
Details of lower back pain:
 Previous episode727 (75.0)
 Previous sick leave381 (39.3)
 Previous surgery26 (2.7)
 Sudden onset797 (82.2)
 Compensation case†189 (19.2)
 Currently taking medication399 (41.20)
 Mean (SD) duration (days)4.9 (3.3)
 Mean (SD) days of forced reduction of usual activities 3.1 (2.8)
Interference with function from lower back pain:
 Not at all59 (6.1)
 Little bit133 (13.7)
 Moderate215 (22.2)
 Quite a bit373 (38.5)
 Extreme189 (19.5)
Leg pain199 (20.5)
Intensity of lower back pain:
 Very mild22 (2.1)
 Mild85 (8.8)
 Moderate349 (36.0)
 Severe426 (44.0)
 Very severe87 (8.9)
Mean (SD) days off from work or school from lower back pain (n=814)1.5 (2.2)
Working before injury770 (79.5)
Changed work status as result (n=770)291 (38.0)
*Post-school education.

†Worker’s compensation and third party motor vehicle insurance cases.