Associations Between Relative Value Units and Patient-Reported Back Pain and Disability.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Gerontology & geriatric medicine, Volume 3, p.2333721416686019 (2017)


Objective: To describe associations between health care utilization measures and patient-reported outcomes (PROs). Method: Primary data were collected from patients ≥65 years with low back pain visits from 2011 to 2013. Six PROs of pain and functionality were collected 12 and 24 months after the index visits and total and spine-specific relative value units (RVUs) from electronic health records were tabulated over 1 year. We calculated correlation coefficients between RVUs and 12- and 24-month PROs and conducted linear regressions with each 12- and 24-month PRO as the outcome variables and RVUs as predictors of interest. Results: We observed very weak correlations between worse PROs at 12 and 24 months and greater 12-month utilization. In regression analyses, we observed slight associations between greater utilization and worse 12- and 24-month PROs. Discussion: We found that 12-month health care utilization is not strongly associated with PROs at 12 or 24 months.