Isaacs 2004


Year: 2004

Title: Radiograph use in low back pain: a United States emergency department database analysis

Country: United States

Age: Adult Only

Sex: All Sexes

Population: Multiple Groups

Care Setting: Emergency Department

Clinical Setting: Back Pain Imaging

Data Level: National

Data Type: Government Survey

Data Source: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey

Conclusion: No Disparities Based on Patient Race/Ethnicity

Health OutComes Reported: No

Mitigation: No

Free Text Conclusion: Minorities equally likely to get radiographs in the ED for back pain.

Abstract: We identified factors associated with radiograph evaluation for patients who presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with uncomplicated low back pain (LBP). Using 1998-2000 ED data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, a multivariate analysis was performed to assess utilization of radiographs for LBP. Based upon published guidelines, of the over 3 million patients who met our criteria of uncomplicated LBP, 17.8% received an unnecessary radiograph. Patients who arrive via ambulance with moderate pain, who need to be seen within 15 min, and who have 3 or more screening tests ordered are 100% likely to also get a radiograph. There is an increased probability of receiving a radiograph for those patients 40-70 years old, being seen at a metropolitan hospital, having private insurance, and being treated by a resident in training. Multiple factors are associated with the overuse of radiographs for patients presenting with uncomplicated LBP.