Consensus of potential modifiable prognostic factors for persistent pain after a first episode of nonspecific idiopathic, non-traumatic neck pain: results of nominal group and Delphi technique approach

Authors Martine Verwoerd, Harriët Wittink, François Maissan, Rob Smeets
Published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Publication date 2020
Research groups Lifestyle and Health
Type Article


Background Identify and establish consensus regarding potential prognostic factors for the development of chronic pain after a first episode of idiopathic, non-traumatic neck pain. Design This study used two consensus group methods: a modified Nominal Group (m-NGT) and a Delphi Technique. Methods The goal of the m-NGT was to obtain and categorize a list of potential modifiable prognostic factors. These factors were presented to a multidisciplinary panel in a two-round Delphi survey, which was conducted between November 2018 and January 2020. The participants were asked whether factors identified are of prognostic value, whether these factors are modifiable, and how to measure these factors in clinical practice. Consensus was a priori defined as 70% agreement among participants. Results Eighty-four factors were identified and grouped into seven categories during the expert meeting using the modified NGT. A workgroup reduced the list to 47 factors and grouped them into 12 categories. Of these factors, 26 were found to be potentially prognostic for chronification of neck pain (> 70% agreement). Twenty-one out of these 26 factors were found to be potentially modifiable by physiotherapists based on a two-round Delphi survey. Conclusion Based on an expert meeting (m-NGT) and a two-round Delphi survey, our study documents consensus (> 70%) on 26 prognostic factors. Twenty-one out of these 26 factors were found to be modifiable, and most factors were psychological in nature.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Year and volume 2020 656
Key words chronic pain
Digital Object Identifier 10.1186/s12891-020-03682-8