Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 27151
  Title Exploring visual pain trajectories in neck pain patients, using clinical course, SMS-based patterns, and patient characteristics: a cohort study
Journal Chiropr & Manual Ther. 2022 ;30(37):14
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Article

Background: The dynamic nature of neck pain has so far been identified through longitudinal studies with frequent measures, a method which is time-consuming and impractical. Pictures illustrating different courses of pain may be an alternative solution, usable in both clinical work and research, but it is unknown how well they capture the clinical course. The aim of this study was to explore and describe self-reported visual trajectories in terms of details of patients’ prospectively reported clinical course, their SMS-based pattern classification of neck pain, and patient’s characteristics.

Methods: Prospective cohort study including 888 neck pain patients from chiropractic practice, responding to weekly SMS-questions about pain intensity for 1 year from 2015 to 2017. Patients were classified into one of three clinical course patterns using definitions based on previously published descriptors. At 1-year follow-up, patients selected a visual trajectory that best represented their retrospective 1-year course of pain: single episode, episodic, mild ongoing, fluctuating and severe ongoing.

Results: The visual trajectories generally resembled the 1-year clinical course characteristics on group level, but there were large individual variations. Patients selecting Episodic and Mild ongoing visual trajectories were similar on most parameters. The visual trajectories generally resembled more the clinical course of the last quarter.

Discussion: The visual trajectories reflected the descriptors of the clinical course of pain captured by weekly SMS measures on a group level and formed groups of patients that differed on symptoms and characteristics. However, there were large variations in symptoms and characteristics within, as well as overlap between, each visual trajectory. In particular, patients with mild pain seemed predisposed to recall bias. Although the visual trajectories and SMS-based classifications appear related, visual trajectories likely capture more elements of the pain experience than just the course of pain. Therefore, they cannot be seen as a proxy for SMS-tracking of pain over 1 year.

Author keywords: Visual trajectories - Longitudinal - Subgrouping - Recall bias - Chiropractic - SMS - Questionnaire

This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; click on the above link for free full text. Online access only.


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