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Predicting persisting disability in musculoskeletal pain patients with the STarT MSK screening tool: Results from a prospective cohort study

Nativ, Noam; Pincus, Tamar; Hill, Jonathan; Ben Ami, Noa

Authors

Noam Nativ

Tamar Pincus

Noa Ben Ami



Abstract

Background
The STarT MSK screening tool aims to categorise musculoskeletal patients into three risk groups for treatment stratification. The tool has been translated and validated into Hebrew. However, its ability to predict persistent disability in patients has yet to be evaluated.

Objective
The primary aim of this study was to assess the ability of the Hebrew version of the STarT MSK tool to predict persistent disability in patients experiencing musculoskeletal pain.

Methods
A prospective observational cohort study was conducted, recruiting 135 patients with musculoskeletal pain in five common areas: back, neck, shoulder, knee, or multisite pain over the age of 21. At the first consultation, all patients completed demographic information, the Focus On Therapeutic Outcomes (FOTO) questionnaire (function, pain, and fear avoidance score), and the STarT MSK questionnaire. The patients completed the FOTO questionnaire again at the end of the physiotherapy treatments.

Results
25 patients (18.5%) were classified into the low-risk group, 68 patients (50.3%) into the medium-risk group, and 42 (31.1%) into the high-risk group. The baseline STarT MSK tool score demonstrated an excellent ability to identify patients at high risk of developing persistent disability (AUC = 0.795, 95% CI 0.716–0.873).

Conclusions
The Hebrew version of the STarT MSK tool can differentiate between three chronic risk groups and has high predictive validity for chronicity. This may provide a tool to assist clinicians in identifying patients who require more intensive care, and thus, potentially prevent the transition to chronic disabling pain.

Citation

Nativ, N., Pincus, T., Hill, J., & Ben Ami, N. (2023). Predicting persisting disability in musculoskeletal pain patients with the STarT MSK screening tool: Results from a prospective cohort study. Musculoskeletal Care, 21(4), 1005-1010. https://doi.org/10.1002/msc.1776

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 25, 2023
Online Publication Date May 7, 2023
Publication Date May 7, 2023
Deposit Date Jun 29, 2023
Journal Musculoskeletal Care
Print ISSN 1478-2189
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 4
Pages 1005-1010
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/msc.1776
Keywords Nursing (miscellaneous), Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Chiropractics, Rheumatology