Global consensus from clinicians regarding low back pain outcome indicators for older adults: Pairwise wiki survey using crowdsourcing

Arnold Y.L. Wong (Corresponding Author), Henrik H. Lauridsen, Dino Samartzis, Luciana Macedo, Paulo H. Ferreira, Manuela L. Ferreira

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most debilitating conditions among older adults. Unfortunately, existing LBP outcome questionnaires are not adapted for specific circumstances related to old age, which may make these measures less than ideal for evaluating LBP in older adults. Objective: To explore the necessity of developing age-specific outcome measures, crowdsourcing was conducted to solicit opinions from clinicians globally. Methods: Clinicians around the world voted and/or prioritized various LBP outcome indicators for older adults on a pairwise wiki survey website. Seven seed outcome indicators were posted for voting while respondents were encouraged to suggest new indicators for others to vote/prioritize. The website was promoted on the social media of various health care professional organizations. An established algorithm calculated the mean scores of all ideas. A score >50 points means that the idea has >50% probability of beating another randomly presented indicator. Results: Within 42 days, 128 respondents from 6 continents cast 2466 votes and proposed 14 ideas. Indicators pertinent to improvements of physical functioning and age-related social functioning scored >50 while self-perceived reduction of LBP scored 32. Conclusions: This is the first crowdsourcing study to address LBP outcome indicators for older adults. The study noted that age-specific outcome indicators should be integrated into future LBP outcome measures for older adults. Future research should solicit opinions from older patients with LBP to develop age-specific back pain outcome measures that suit clinicians and patients alike.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11127
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Crowdsourcing
  • Low back pain
  • Older people
  • Outcome indicators
  • Wiki survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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