Table 1. Outcomes Considered Important by Patients with Back or Abdominal Pain, Ranked by Their Importance Ratings*
1. To find the cause of the pain4.9
2. To trust that the treatment plan is appropriate4.7
3. To return to normal life functions4.7
4. To understand what may happen to you because of the problem4.6
5. To prevent this problem from occurring again4.6
6. To prevent long-term loss of function4.6
7. To return to work and productivity as soon as possible4.5
8. To experience no complications or side effects4.3
9. To be assured that no unexpected, unrelated problems develop4.2
10. To get rapid and complete relief from pain and other symptoms4.2
11. To avoid being hospitalized4.1
12. To avoid surgery4.1
13. To avoid placing a burden or stress on family members4.1
14. To minimize or avoid the need for further tests and medical visits3.9
15. To minimize radiation exposure in the course of my care3.9
16. To avoid personal costs for care3.9
17. To minimize or avoid use of medication3.8
18. To return to leisure/sports activities as soon as possible3.8
19. To minimize discomfort from the tests used to assess the pain3.7
  • * Ratings were made on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is “not at all important” and 5 is “extremely important.”