European Spine Journal

, Volume 21, Supplement 6, pp 773–784

Predictive value of the Acute Low Back Pain Screening Questionnaire and the Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire for persisting problems

  • Martin Sattelmayer
  • Tobias Lorenz
  • Christoph Röder
  • Roger Hilfiker
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00586-011-1910-7

Cite this article as:
Sattelmayer, M., Lorenz, T., Röder, C. et al. Eur Spine J (2012) 21(Suppl 6): 773. doi:10.1007/s00586-011-1910-7



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 (I2) 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.


Back pain Prognosis Screening Psychosocial 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Sattelmayer
    • 1
  • Tobias Lorenz
    • 2
  • Christoph Röder
    • 3
  • Roger Hilfiker
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PhysiotherapyHES-SO, University of Applied Sciences Western SwitzerlandLeukerbadSwitzerland
  2. 2.Klinik AdelheidUnterägeriSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute for Evaluative Research in MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute Health and Social WorkHES-SO, University of Applied Sciences Western SwitzerlandSionSwitzerland
  5. 5.Institut de recherche en réadaptation et Clinique romande de réadaptation (Suvacare)SionSwitzerland

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