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Papers of the Week

2022 May 05

J Clin Med



The Effect of a Multidisciplinary Spine Clinic on Time to Care in Patients with Chronic Back and/or Leg Pain: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis.


Naidu I, Ryvlin J, Videlefsky D, Qin J, Mowrey WB, Choi JH, Citron C, Gary J, Benton JA, Weiss BT, Longo M, Matmati NN, De la Garza Ramos R, Krystal J, Echt M, Gelfand Y, Cezayirli P, Yassari N, Wang B, Castro-Rivas E, et al.
J Clin Med. 2022 May 05; 11(9).
PMID: 35566709.


Chronic back and leg pain are leading causes of disability worldwide. The purpose of this study was to compare the care in a unidisciplinary (USC) versus multidisciplinary (MSC) spine clinic, where patients are evaluated by different specialists during the same office visit. Adult patients presenting with a chief complaint of back and/or leg pain between June 2018 and July 2019 were assessed for eligibility. The main outcome measures included the first treatment recommendations, the time to treatment order, and the time to treatment occurrence. A 1:1 propensity score-matched analysis was performed on 874 patients (437 in each group). For all patients, the most common recommendation was physical therapy (41.4%), followed by injection (14.6%), and surgery (9.7%). Patients seen in the MSC were more likely to be recommended injection ( < 0.001) and less likely to be recommended surgery as first treatment ( = 0.001). They also had significantly shorter times to the injection order (log-rank test, = 0.004) and the injection occurrence (log-rank test, < 0.001). In this study, more efficient care for patients with back and/or leg pain was delivered in the MSC setting, which was evidenced by the shorter times to the injection order and occurrence. The impact of the MSC approach on patient satisfaction and health-related quality-of-life outcome measures warrants further investigation.