Martin Sattelmayer, Tobias Lorenz, Christoph Röder, Roger Hilfiker

August 2012, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 773 - 784 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-011-1910-7

First Online: 26 July 2011


A small proportion of individuals with non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) develop persistent problems. Up to 80% of the total costs for NSLBP are owing to chronic NSLBP. Psychosocial factors have been described to be important in the transition from acute to chronic NSLBP. Guidelines recommend the use of the Acute Low Back Pain Screening Questionnaire (ALBPSQ) and the Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire (ÖMPSQ) to identify individuals at risk of developing persistent problems, such as long-term absence of work, persistent restriction in function or persistent pain. These instruments can be used with a cutoff value, where patients with values above the threshold are further assessed with a more comprehensive examination.


We systematically reviewed studies evaluating the accuracy of the ALBPSQ and ÖMPSQ to predict persistent problems.


The 13 included studies used different cutoff values for the screening questionnaires ranging from 68 to 147. The pooled sensitivity was 0.59 (0.43–0.74), while the pooled specificity was 0.77 (0.66–0.86). Heterogeneity (I 2) was 90.02% for sensitivity and 95.41% for specificity.


Thus, we do not recommend the use of one cutoff value, but the use of a prediction model with all the individual items.

Read Full Article