Papers

A qualitative investigation of Red Flags for serious spinal pathology

(Greenhalgh & Selfe, 2009)

Aims: To explore the experiential knowledge of experienced palliative care clinicians in the field of serious spinal pathology.

Methods: Qualitative study: Nominal group technique + focus group.

Results:

Limitations: Qualitative study, experts’ experience, only in one service in UK. Recall bias.

In Practice: Band-like trunk pain, vague non-specific lower limb symptoms and decreased mobility are worthy of further investigation, but front-line musculoskeletal clinicians may find it useful to consider these items within the subjective history at an early stage in the patient’s journey. These three items could inform the clinical reasoning process, raise the index of suspicion and help to steer the patient’s ongoing medical management.

Greenhalgh, S., & Selfe, J. (2009). A qualitative investigation of Red Flags for serious spinal pathology. Physiotherapy, 95(3), 224–227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2009.04.006

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