Although cervical radiculopathy is very common, there is no standard treatment for this condition, with little high-level evidence available to guide the treatment choice. Thus, this study aimed to review the current data on the management of cervical radiculopathy; and, further, to establish a new Chinese clinical consensus of the treatments for cervical radiculopathy using the Delphi method.
First, a systematic review of the previously established treatment guidelines and of articles related to cervical radiculopathy was conducted to establish a protocol for the clinical consensus of the treatment for cervical radiculopathy. Second, from February 2012 to June 2014, we performed a modified Delphi survey in which the current professional opinions from 30 experienced experts, representing almost all of the Chinese provinces, were gathered. Three rounds were performed, and consensus was defined as ≥70 % agreement.
Consensus of the treatments for cervical radiculopathy was reached on seven aspects, including the proportion of patients requiring only non-surgical therapies; the effectiveness of neck immobilization, physiotherapy, pharmacologic treatment; surgical indications; contraindications; surgery.
The modified Delphi study conducted herein reached a consensus concerning several treatment issues for cervical radiculopathy. In the absence of high-level evidence, at present, these expert opinion findings will help guide health care providers to define the appropriate treatment in their regions. Items with no consensus provide excellent areas for future research.
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We are grateful to the 30 panelists for contributing their opinions. This study received financial support from Major Science and Technology Project of Beijing, and the project's number is D101100049910009.
Conflict of interest
None of the authors has any potential conflict of interest.
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Zang, L., Fan, N., Hai, Y. et al. Using the modified Delphi method to establish a new Chinese clinical consensus of the treatments for cervical radiculopathy. Eur Spine J 24, 1116–1126 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-015-3856-7