Identifying prognostic factors predicting outcome in patients with chronic neck pain after multimodal treatment: A retrospective study.

The objective of this study was to identify prognostic factors to predict drop-out and favorable outcome in patients following a holistic treatment program at an outpatient rehabilitation clinic. This was achieved through a retrospective study involving 437 chronic neck pain sufferers who were involved in an exercise-based rehab programme between January 2008 and November 2011. . Prognostic factors were analyzed through a univariate and a multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Multivariate logistic regression revealed that a higher age (OR=0.960), presence of headache (OR=0.436) or low back pain (OR=0.525), and having low levels of depression (OR=1.044) increase the odds to complete the multimodal treatment program. A high NDI-score (OR=0.945), a high NRS-score for pain in the upper extremities (OR=0.862), a low NRS score for pain in the neck (OR=1.372), and a trauma in the patient’s history (OR=0.411) decrease the odds of having a favorable outcome after the given treatment program. The conclusions are that it is important to be aware of these prognostic factors as they may help therapists to identify patients with a good prognosis or patients at risk. For those at risk, this would allow the treatment approach to be redirected to address their specific needs.