Anne Julsrud Haugen, Lars Grøvle, Jens Ivar Brox, Bård Natvig, Anne Keller, Dag Soldal, Margreth Grotle

September 2011, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 1669 - 1675 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-011-1809-3

First Online: 24 April 2011

The objectives were to estimate the cut-off points for success on different sciatica outcome measures and to determine the success rate after an episode of sciatica by using these cut-offs. A 12-month multicenter observational study was conducted on 466 patients with sciatica and lumbar disc herniation. The cut-off values were estimated by ROC curve analyses using Completely recovered or Much better on a 7-point global change scale as external criterion for success. The cut-off values (references in brackets) at 12 months were leg pain VAS 17.5 (0–100), back pain VAS 22.5 (0–100), Sciatica Bothersomeness Index 6.5 (0–24), Maine-Seattle Back Questionnaire 4.5 (0–12), and the SF-36 subscales bodily pain 51.5, and physical functioning 81.7 (0–100, higher values indicate better health). In conclusion, the success rates at 12 months varied from 49 to 58% depending on the measure used. The proposed cut-offs may facilitate the comparison of success rates across studies.

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