The prediction of return to the workplace after Multidisciplinary Pain Center (MPC) treatment has become a major research area. To delineate the variables that predict this outcome, the authors reviewed 164 multidisciplinary outcome studies. Of these, 79 addressed work as an outcome variable. Twenty-six studies attempted to identify patient variables predicting return to the workplace. These latter studies were critically inspected for eight methodological criteria: pain location, follow-up time interval, response percentage and follow-up method, return to work subcategorization, vocational movement, univariate vs. multivariate statistics, multicolinearity and variance, and statistical treatment of dropouts. In addition, other disability studies besides those in the chronic pain area were reviewed for return to the workplace predictor variables. Of these 26 studies, only a few appeared to satisfy the criteria examined. In addition, many studies were in conflict with one another on whether a variable was predictive. The review of the nonchronic pain/disability prediction literature yielded a large number of potential predictors that related to the work area. It is unclear which variables or set of variables predict return to the workplace after MPC treatment. Chronic pain studies may be neglecting the work area as an important source of return to the workplace predictor variables.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine