Title

Associations of Race and Ethnicity With Patient-Reported Outcomes and Health Care Utilization Among Older Adults Initiating a New Episode of Care for Back Pain.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-15-2018

Publication Title

Spine (Phila Pa 1976)

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: Secondary analysis of the Back Pain Outcomes using Longitudinal Data (BOLD) cohort study.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize associations of self-reported race/ethnicity with back pain (BP) patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and health care utilization among older adults with a new episode of care for BP.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: No prior longitudinal studies have characterized associations between multiple race/ethnicity groups, and BP-related PROs and health care utilization in the United States.

METHODS: This study included 5117 participants ≥65 years from three US health care systems. The primary BP-related PROs were BP intensity and back-related functional limitations over 24 months. Health care utilization measures included common diagnostic tests and treatments related to BP (spine imaging, spine-related relative value units [RVUs], and total RVUs) over 24 months. Analyses were adjusted for multiple potential confounders including sociodemographics, clinical characteristics, and study site.

RESULTS: Baseline BP ratings were significantly higher for blacks vs. whites (5.8 vs. 5.0; P < 0.001). Participants in all race/ethnicity groups showed statistically significant, but modest improvements in BP over 24 months. Blacks and Hispanics did not have statistically significant improvement in BP-related functional limitations over time, unlike whites, Asians, and non-Hispanics; however, the magnitude of differences in improvement between groups was small. Blacks had less spine-related health care utilization over 24 months than whites (spine-related RVU ratio of means 0.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51-0.86). Hispanics had less spine-related health care utilization than non-Hispanics (spine-related RVU ratio of means 0.60; 95% CI 0.40-0.90).

CONCLUSION: Blacks and Hispanics had slightly less improvement in BP-related functional limitations over time, and less spine-related health care utilization, as compared to whites and non-Hispanics, respectively. Residual confounding may explain some of the association between race/ethnicity and health outcomes. Further studies are needed to understand the factors underlying these differences and which differences reflect disparities.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Back Pain; Cohort Studies; Continental Population Groups; Episode of Care; Ethnic Groups; Female; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Male; Patient Acceptance of Health Care; Patient Reported Outcome Measures

PubMed ID

29189640

Volume

43

Issue

14

First Page

1007

Last Page

1017

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