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Diagnostic Screening for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Authors Jensen RK, Lauridsen HH, Andresen ADK, Mieritz RM, Schiøttz-Christensen B, Vach W

Received 20 May 2020

Accepted for publication 19 July 2020

Published 19 August 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 891—905


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Eyal Cohen

Rikke Krüger Jensen,1,2 Henrik Hein Lauridsen,1 Andreas Duch Kiilerich Andresen,3 Rune Mygind Mieritz,4 Berit Schiøttz-Christensen,5,6 Werner Vach7,8

1Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; 2Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, Odense, Denmark; 3Spine Surgery and Research, Spine Centre of Southern Denmark, University Hospital Lillebaelt, Middelfart, Denmark; 4Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Odense, Odense, Denmark; 5Spine Centre of Southern Denmark, University Hospital Lillebaelt, Middelfart, Denmark; 6Department of Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; 7Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 8Basel Academy, Basel, Switzerland

Correspondence: Rikke Krüger Jensen
Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, Odense M 5230, Denmark
Tel +45 40 41 97 73

Purpose: To develop a self-administered diagnostic screening questionnaire for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) consisting of items with high content validity and to investigate the diagnostic value of the questionnaire and the items.
Patients and Methods: A self-reported diagnostic LSS screening questionnaire was developed based on items from the existing literature describing key symptoms of LSS. The screening questionnaire (index test) was to be tested in a cohort of patients with persistent lumbar and/or leg pain recruited from a Danish publicly funded outpatient secondary care spine clinic with clinicians performing the reference test. However, to avoid unnecessary collection of data if the screening questionnaire proved to be of limited value, a case–control design was incorporated into the cohort design including an interim analysis. Additional cases for the case–control study were recruited at two Danish publicly funded spine surgery departments. Prevalence, sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic odds ratio (OR) were calculated for each individual item, and AUC (area under the curve) was calculated to examine the performance of the full questionnaire.
Results: A 13-item Danish questionnaire was developed and tested in 153 cases and 230 controls. The interim analysis was not in favour of continuing the cohort study, and therefore, only results from the case–control study are reported. There was a positive association for all items except the presence of back pain. However, the association was only moderate with ORs up to 3.3. When testing the performance of the whole questionnaire, an AUC of 0.72 was reached with a specificity of 20% for a fixed sensitivity of 95%.
Conclusion: The items were associated with LSS and therefore have some potential to identify LSS patients. However, the association was not strong enough to provide sufficient accuracy for a diagnostic tool. Additional dimensions of symptoms of LSS need identification to obtain a reliable questionnaire for screening purposes.

Keywords: lumbar spinal stenosis, neurogenic claudication, diagnostic screening, questionnaire

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