Agreement and Screening Accuracy Between Physical Therapists Ratings and the Ӧrebro Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire in Screening for Risk of Chronic Pain During Musculoskeletal Evaluation

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Introduction: Identifying patients at risk for chronic musculoskeletal pain can inform evaluation and treatment decisions. The ability of physical therapists to assess patients’ risk for chronic pain without use of validated tools has been questioned. The Ӧrebro Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire (OMPQ) is used to determine risk for chronic pain. Methods: The aim of this pragmatic study was to prospectively quantify the agreement between physical therapists’ assessment of patients’ risk for chronic symptoms compared to the OMPQ. Patients were asked to complete the OMPQ during the initial visit. Physical therapists, blinded to OMPQ risk classification, carried out their usual patient assessment procedures. The physical therapists rated patients as either high or low risk for chronic pain based on their clinical assessment. Agreement between therapist and OMPQ was determined using Cohen’s Kappa (κ) and screening accuracy compared clinician risk to the OMPQ risk classification (reference standard) by way of contingency table analysis. Results: Ninety-six (96) patients’ risk classifications and 15 corresponding physical therapists’ risk estimates were available for analysis. The OMPQ identified a 47% prevalence for high risk of chronic pain. Agreement (κ and 95% confidence interval) between physical therapist rating and OMPQ was slight, κ = 0.272 (0.033–0.421), p = .026. Therapists’ sensitivity and specificity (95% CI) for determining risk classifications were 60.0% (44.3–74.3) and 62.8% (48.1–75.6), respectively. The positive and negative likelihood ratios (95% CI) were 1.61 (1.05–2.47) and 0.64 (0.42–0.97). Discussion: The use of validated self-report questionnaires are recommended to supplement clinician prognosis for patients at risk of chronic musculoskeletal pain.