The impact of the evolution of invasive surgical procedures for low back pain: a population based study of patient outcomes and hospital utilization

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Abstract

[truncated abstract] Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a ubiquitous health problem in Western societies, and while clinical decision making for patients requiring hospitalization for LBP has changed significantly over the past two decades, knowledge of the net impact on patient outcomes and health care utilization is lacking. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of changes in the medical control of lumbar back pain in Western Australia in terms of the rate of patient readmission and the total bed days associated with readmissions.Methods: A record linkage population-based study of hospitalization for LBP from 1980–2003 in Western Australia was performed. The rate of admission for LBP, changes in re-admission rates and number of bed days accrued 1 and 3 years post-initial admission over time adjusted for potential confounders was evaluated.Results: The annual rate of first-time hospitalization for LBP halved. The proportion of females admitted increased (+6%). The disease severity increased and the proportion of individuals having an invasive procedure also increased (+75%) over the study period. While rate of readmission for non-invasive procedures fell, readmission for invasive procedures increased over the study period. Overall, the number of bed days associated with readmission reduced over time.Conclusion: Between 1980 and 2003, there has been a shift from non-invasive procedural treatments towards invasive techniques both at the time of initial hospitalization and upon subsequent readmission...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-618
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Volume79
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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