Targeted Interventions to Prevent Chronic Low Back Pain in High-Risk Patients (TARGET)

PI(s): Anthony Delitto, PhD, PT, University of Pittsburgh, UPMC

Project Summary: The research team looked at patients with recent low back pain who had different risks for developing chronic pain. To assess chronic pain risk, the team asked patients questions about how they were coping with back pain.

For patients at high risk, the research team compared two types of care:

  • Usual care, which included home treatment such as over-the-counter pain medicine.
  • Usual care plus a referral to psychologically informed physical therapy (PIPT), which helps patients learn coping skills to manage back pain.

Of patients at high risk, 50% developed chronic pain with both types of care. Level of disability and use of health care for low back pain were also similar for both types of care. After six months, 20% of low-risk and 33% of medium-risk patients developed chronic low back pain. Also, 30 to 40% of low- and medium-risk patients had another doctor visit for low back pain. For patients at all risk levels, doctors often ordered non-recommended tests and treatments, such as x-rays and opioids.

PaTH Partner:

  • Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Health System (Stephen Wegener, Site PI)

PCORnet Partners:

  • Boston Medical Center
  • Intermountain Health Care
  • Medical University of South Carolina

Sponsor: PCORI®

Coordinating Center: University of Pittsburgh

PaTH Network Logo
Twitter Logo Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

Copyright 2016 | PaTH Network