American Chiropractic Association

View all recommendations from this society

August 15, 2017

Do not provide long-term pain management without a psychosocial screening or assessment.

There is a high probability that any person with a chronic pain syndrome has a concomitant psychological disorder, most notably depression and/or anxiety. The relationship between chronic pain and depression/anxiety is well established. The causal arrow between pain and these disorders can point in either direction and over time may form a positive feedback loop between these two elements. Screening tools are available that will aid in the detection of potential depression/anxiety, and, when indicated, a referral may be most appropriate for more extensive evaluation and treatment. In addition, lesser psychological factors such as catastrophizing and fear avoidance behavior may interfere with a patient’s recovery and should be recognized by the clinician. Recognizing indicators of patient psychosocial health behavioral factors can affect a patient’s recovery and/or compliance with treatment and may decrease the risk of developing chronic illness/pain. Tools such as StarTBack 9 screening tool, PHQ-9 depression scale and the Fear Avoidance Belief Questionnaire are examples.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) utilized its Committee on Quality Assurance and Accountability (CQAA) to serve as an expert task force of doctors of chiropractic (DCs) to identify areas/items common to the practice of chiropractic for which recommendations were supported by clinical research and would result in high-value, cost-effective services and improved patient outcomes. A literature search was conducted and the task force collaboratively identified a draft list of six recommendations based upon established Choosing Wisely® criteria. The list was submitted to the ACA Board of Governors for initial review. After further refinement, the final list of five strategies was selected, submitted to and approved by the ACA Board of Governors.

Choosing Wisely® recommendations 1 and 2 are performance measures approved by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the 2017 Spine IQ Qualified Clinical Data Registry for Conservative Spine Care.

ACA’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.acatoday.org.

Sources

Cancelliere C, Donovan J, Stochkendahl MJ, Biscardi M, Ammendolia C, Myburgh C, Cassidy JD. Factors affecting return to work after injury or illness: best evidence synthesis of systematic reviews. Chiropr Man Therap. 2016 Sep 8;24(1):32.

Kamper SJ, Apeldoorn AT, Chiarotto A, Smeets RJ, Ostelo RW, Guzman J, van Tulder MW. Multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation for chronic low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Sep 2;(9):CD000963.

Wertli MM, Eugster R, Held U, Steurer J, Kofmehl R, Weiser S. Catastrophizing-a prognostic factor for outcome in patients with low back pain: a systematic review. Spine J. 2014 Nov 1;14(11):2639-57.

Taylor JB, Goode AP, George SZ, Cook CE. Incidence and risk factors for first-time incident low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Spine J. 2014 Oct 1;14(10):2299-319.

Daubs MD, Norvell DC, McGuire R, Molinari R, Hermsmeyer JT, Fourney DR, Wolinsky JP, Brodke D. Fusion versus nonoperative care for chronic low back pain: do psychological factors affect outcomes? Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Oct 1;36(21 Suppl):S96-109.

Foster NE, Mullis R, Hill JC, Lewis M, Whitehurst DGT, Konstantinou, K, Main C, Somerville S, Sowden G, Wathall S, Young J, Hay E. Effect of Stratified Care for Low Back Pain in Family Practice (IMPaCT Back): A Prospective Population-Based Sequential Comparison. Ann Fam Med 2014; 12(2):102-11.

Kronenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB. The PHQ-9: validity of a brief depression severity measure. J Gen Intern Med 2001; 16(9):606-13.

George SZ, Fritz JM, McNeil DW. Fear-avoidance beliefs as measured by the fear-avoidance beliefs questionnaire: change in fear-avoidance beliefs questionnaire is predictive of change in self-report of disability and pain intensity for patients with acute low back pain. Clin J Pain 2006; 22(2):197-203.