An attempt was made by NIOSH to develop a clinical information gathering system for low back pain based on a set of standardized tests and measures that are reliable and illustrate discriminate validity. Several research objectives identified as progress toward this goal was realized. These included the identification of all tests and measures that may be applied to the assessment of musculoskeletal low back pain; completion of a literature review specifically related to both the reliability and validity issues for each test or measure; completion of a clinically based reliability study of each test or measure; completion of a clinically based discriminate validity study of the reliable tests and measures; completion of a clinical information gathering system; and completion of a clinically based, randomized, controlled study to categorize musculoskeletal low back pain. A total of 85 tests and measures has been examined, 69 of which had reliability scores within the acceptable and marginal limits. The author states that in future research along these lines an attempt will be made to assemble the reliability and validity tests and measures into a larger framework of a clinical information gathering system. The final goal is a randomized, controlled, clinically based study to confirm risk factors associated with musculoskeletal low back pain.
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