Association Between Depressive Symptoms or Depression & Health Outcomes for Low Back Pain
- Dr. Shawn Thistle
Low back pain (LBP) is incredibly prevalent and remains a leading cause of both disability and driver of high healthcare utilization and costs. Depression is likewise a leading cause of disability and is a common comorbidity in individuals with LBP, which may compound the negative impact on an individual’s clinical outcomes.
Systematic reviews have attempted to evaluate the role of depressive symptoms as prognostic factors for LBP, but these studies have generally yielded inconsistent results. Previous studies have reported weak or no associations with work-related outcomes, while others have found inconsistent results due to poor methodological quality or differing study designs. Additionally, these reviews are somewhat out of date and require updating for new eligible studies.
Prognostic factors regarding the role of depressive symptoms in LBP are critically important to both future research and patient care, but are also important at a healthcare system level, as identifying prognostic factors can inform healthcare planning and allocation of resources. To address these needs, the authors conducted a systematic review to evaluate the association between depressive symptoms and health outcomes in patients with LBP.
Chiropractors can play an important role in screening for depression. I discuss this more in relation to elderly patients in “Older & Bolder: Chiropractic Care for Healthy Aging” - available via in-person Seminar or on-demand, online E-Seminar!
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Association Between Depressive Symptoms or Depression & Health Outcomes for Low Back Pain”
This paper was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (2021) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Low Back Pain and the 2022 Archive.