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Table 1

Return to:   Leg Pain Location and Neurological Signs Relate to Outcomes
in Primary Care Patients with Low Back Pain

Patient-reported baseline characteristics of chiropractic patients (a) and general practice patients (b)

All chiropractic patients (a)
n = 947
‘LBP alone’
n = 614 (67%)
‘LBP + pain above knee’
n = 219 (24%)
‘LBP + pain below knee’
n = 69 (7%)
‘LBP + signs of nerve root involvement’
n = 20 (2%)
Quebec missing
n = 25 (3%)
p-values§
Age in yearsa 43 (28, 59)42 (27, 58)45 (30, 60)47 (32, 63)48 (33, 66)37 (23, 62)<.01
Femalesb 45 (42–48)42 (38–45)52 (45–58)52 (40–64)55 (32–76)40 (22–61)0.03
Physical work loadb 0.82
 - Sitting23 (21–26)23 (20–27)25 (19–31)22 (13–34)18 (5–46)22 (9–45)
 - Sitting/walking34 (31–37)34 (30–38)34 (28–41)38 (27–52)41 (19–67)22 (9–45)
 - Light physical work21 (19–24)22 (19–25)20 (15–26)17 (9–29)6 (1–37)35 (17–57)
 - Heavy physical work21 (19–24)21 (18–24)21 (16–27)23 (14–36)35 (15–62)22 (9–45)
Sick leaveb 22 (19–25)20 (17–24)26 (20–32)28 (18–41)24 (8–52)14 (4–37)0.23
Educational levelb 0.04
 - No qualification9 (7–11)9 (7–12)10 (6–15)6 (2–16)11 (2–39)-
 - Vocational training,26 (23–29)26 (23–30)24 (18–30)32 (22–45)33 (14–60)25 (11–47)
 - Higher education < 3 y16 (13–18)14 (12–17)21 (16–27)8 (3–18)28 (11–55)13 (4–34)
 - Higher education 3–4 y34 (31–38)33 (30–37)36 (31–43)37 (26–50)28 (11–55)42 (23–63)
 - Higher education >4 y15 (13–18)17 (14–21)9 (6–14)17 (9–28)-21 (8–43)
Duration of painb 0.02
 - 0–2 weeks62 (59–66)66 (62–70)58 (52–65)55 (42–66)39 (18–65)50 (30–70)
 - 2–4 weeks14 (12–16)14 (11–17)13 (9–18)11 (5–21)22 (8–49)17 (6–39)
 - 1–3 months10 (9–13)9 (7–11)14 (10–20)12 (6–23)17 (5–44)8 (2–30)
 - >3 months13 (11–16)11 (9–14)14 (10–20)23 (14–35)22 (8–49)25 (11–47)
Previous LBP episodesb 0.03
 - 0 episodes16 (14–19)17 (14–20)17 (12–22)6 (2–15)18 (51–46)21 (8–43)
 - 1–3 episodes35 (32–38)37 (33–41)33 (27–40)27 (18–40)24 (8–52)29 (14–52)
 - >3 episodes49 (45–52)46 (42–50)50 (44–57)67 (54–77)59 (33–81)50 (30–70)
LBP last yearb <0.001
 - ≤30 days74 (72–77)79 (76–82)68 (61–74)58 (46–70)53 (27–78)75 (53–89)
 - >30 days26 (23–28)21 (18–24)32 (26–39)42 (30–54)47 (22–73)25 (11–47)
LBP intensitya 7 (3, 9)7 (3, 9)7 (4, 9)8 (3, 9)7 (3, 9)8 (2, 10)0.07
Leg pain intensitya 2 (0, 7)0 (0, 5)4 (1, 7)6 (2, 9)8 (4, 9)0 (0, 6)<0.001
Recovery expectationsa 9 (4, 10)10 (4, 10)9 (4, 10)8 (2, 10)9 (1, 10)10 (4, 10)<0.001
Depressive symptomsa 6 (1, 18)5 (1, 17)7.5 (2, 21)9.5 (2, 21)6 (2, 34)7 (2, 19)<0.001
Fear avoidance beliefs physical activitya 13 (6, 20)13 (6, 20)12 (5, 19)14 (2, 20)12 (5, 20)14 (6, 22)0.08
Fear avoidance beliefs worka 11 (3, 26)10 (3, 26)13 (2, 24)12 (2, 31)17.5 (5,31)11 (4, 33)0.10
Start Back Toolb <0.001
 - Low risk54 (51–57)60 (56–64)41 (34–48)44 (32–57)35 (15–62)46 (26–67)
 - Medium risk38 (35–41)34 (30–38)47 (40–54)48 (35–60)41 (19–67)42 (23–63)
 - High risk8 (6–10)6 (4–8)13 (8–18)8 (3–18)24 (8–52)13 (4–34)
Activity limitationa 52 (17, 83)52 (13, 83)56 (26, 83)57 (17, 83)74 (17, 90)59 (15, 85)0.01
General healtha 70 (35, 90)75 (37, 90)70 (30, 90)67 (34, 90)70 (28, 97)72 (40, 92)<.01
All general practice patients (b)
n = 324
‘LBP alone’
n = 97 (48%)
‘LBP + pain above knee’
n = 42 (21%)
‘LBP + pain below knee’
n = 39 (19%)
‘LBP + signs of nerve root involvement’
n = 23 (11%)
Quebec missing
n = 123 (38%)
p-values§
Age in yearsa 46 (27–59)46 (23–61)47 (31–60)49 (34–61)45 (34–60)44 (26–58)0.48
Femalesb 55 (49–60)54 (43–63)64 (48–78)46 (31–62)39 (21–61)58 (49–67)0.20
Physical work loadb 0.45
 - Sitting14 (11–19)19 (11–29)6 (1–21)11 (3–30)37 (17–62)18 (11–26)
 - Sitting/walking32 (27–38)33 (24–44)34 (20–52)36 (20–56)-30 (22–39)
 - Light physical work28 (23–33)23 (15–34)23 (11–40)32 (17–52)32 (14–57)31 (22–40)
 - Heavy physical work25 (21–31)25 (16–35)37 (22–55)21 (9–42)32 (14–57)22 (15–31)
Sick leaveb 40 (34–46))34 (25–45)54 (37–70))39 (23–58)56 (31–78)37 (29–47)0.12
Educational levelb 0.47
 - No qualification20 (16–25)16 (10–26)26 (14–42)26 (13–43)20 (7–45)19 (13–28)
 - Vocational training,18 (14–23)16 (10–26)23 (12–40)17 (8–34)20 (7–45)18 (12–26)
 - Higher education < 3 y22 (18–27)19 (12–29)26 (14–42)17 (8–34)30 (13–55)23 (16–31)
 - Higher education 3–4 y29 (24–34)31 (22–41)18 (9–34)34 (20–52)25 (10–50)31 (23–40)
 - Higher education >4 y6 (4–9)14 (8–23)3 (0–17)3 (0–19)-3 (1–8)
Duration of painb 0.03
 - 0–2 weeks39 (33–44)42 (32–53)51 (35–67)20 (9–37)20 (7–45)41 (32–50)
 - 2–4 weeks14 (10–18)15 (9–25)5 (1–20)17 (8–34)15 (4–40)14 (8–21)
 - 1–3 months16 (12–21)20 (13–30)8 (2–23)14 (6–31)20 (7–45)15 (10–23)
 - >3 months32 (27–37)22 (15–33)35 (21–52)49 (32–65)45 (24–68)31 (23–40)
Previous LBP episodesb 0.03
 - 0 episodes14 (11–19)23 (15–34)8 (2–23)6 (1–21)5 (1–32)14 (9–22)
 - 1–3 episodes24 (19–29)16 (10–26)37 (23–54)23 (11–40)25 (10–50)25 (18–34)
 - >3 episodes62 (56–67)60 (50–70)55 (39–71)71 (54–84)70 (45–87)60 (51–69)
LBP last yearb 0.29
 - ≤30 days51 (45–56)56 (45–66)53 (36–68)37 (22–55)45 (24–68)51 (42–60)
 - >30 days49 (44–55)44 (34–55)47 (32–64)63 (45–78)55 (32–76)49 (40–58)
LBP intensitya 7 (4, 9)7 (4, 9)8 (5, 10)7 (4, 9)7 (3, 10)7 (4, 9)0.35
Leg pain intensitya 3 (0, 9)0 (0, 6)5 (0, 9)7 (3, 9)6 (4, 10)3 (0, 9)<0.001
Recovery expectationsa 6 (0, 10)7 (2, 10)8 (0, 10)3 (0, 9)5 (0, 7)7 (1, 10)<0.001
Depressive symptomsa 9 (2, 26)8 (2, 22)7 (1, 27)15 (2.6, 39)10 (4, 28)9 (2, 25)0.09
Fear avoidance beliefs physical activitya 14 (6, 21)13 (3, 21)15 (8, 20)14.5 (5, 22)17 (9, 24)13.5 (6, 21)0.01
Fear avoidance beliefs worka 14 (3, 28)11 (3, 27)18 (6, 27)16 (4, 30)23 (12, 38)14 (3, 29)0.001
Start Back Toolb <0.001
 - Low risk41 (36–47)51 (40–62)31 (17–50)25 (13–44)27 (9–57)44 (35–54)
 - Medium risk36 (30–41)28 (19–39)59 (41–75)25 (13–44)33 (13–63)38 (29–47)
 - High risk23 (18–28)21 (14–32)9 (3–27)50 32–68)40 17–68)18 (12–26)
Activity limitationa 61 (22, 87)54 (17, 83)61 (35, 87)74 (14, 96)72 (31, 91)65 (22, 87)<0.001
General healtha 60 (26, 90)65 (35, 90)60 (19, 90)50 (20, 86)50 (16, 74)65 (25, 90)0.005
LBP low back pain

aMedian (10%, 90% centiles)

bProportion (95% CI)

§ P-values for test of any differences across the four QTF categories