Evidence-based Practice Center publishes two systematic reviews related to low back pain in Annals of Internal Medicine

Chou PhotoThe Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC), based in the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, had two systematic reviews related to low back pain published in the February 14, 2017 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The papers were published in conjunction with a clinical guideline on noninvasive treatments for subacute, and chronic low back pain, issued by the American College of Physicians (ACP).

Roger Chou, M.D., director of the EPC and professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology and medicine, was first author of the systematic review on systemic pharmacologic therapies for low pain. The review was conducted by EPC investigators and staff at OHSU along with EPC partners, the University of Washington CHASE Alliance and Spectrum Research, Inc. Among the co-authors were DMICE staff Tracy Dana, M.L.S., Jessica Griffin, M.S., and Sara Grusing, B.A.

The second systematic review focused on nonpharmacologic therapies for low back pain. Dr. Chou served as first author, with DMICE staff Ms. Tracy, Ms. Griffin and Ms. Grusing as co-authors, along with others at OHSU, the University of Washington, and Spectrum Research.

“Low back pain is a common problem and it continues to be a challenge for primary care and specialist providers,” said Dr. Chou. “The EPC evidence reviews to support the ACP guideline required a huge effort to gather and assess the abundance of evidence on nonpharmacological therapies as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications, and I’m grateful to our EPC investigators for their excellent teamwork.”

The ACP guideline on low back pain was prepared by the ACP Clinical Guidelines Committee. Linda Humphrey, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, and Devan Kansagara, M.D., M.C.R., associate professor of medicine and medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, served on the guidelines committee. Both physicians also work at the VA Portland Health Care System.

“The guidelines emphasize nonpharmacological treatments as first-line therapy for chronic LBP. In particular, they emphasize the limited role of opioids for LBP,” added Dr. Chou.

The EPC reviews are available from the Annals Web site: