| acute pain management

Comorbidity as a Prognostic Factor

Back Pain & Disability  in Older Adults

A study in the PAIN journal examined whether comorbidities aided in determining if back pain led to further disability. Over 450 patients ≥55 years of age were included in the prospective cohort study that looked at the 1 year clinical course of back pain related disability. Questionnaires were used to assess comorbidity burden and count. Comorbidities included:

  • Hypertension
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lung disease

If comorbidities went up by 1, the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire score was .75 points higher; if comorbidity burden increased by a point, RMDQ went up .47 points. The study concluded that “the clinical course of back-related disability for older adults presenting in primary care was favorable, and increased comorbidity was an independent prognostic factor for increased disability levels.”


Access the journal article.

Holly Caster