5 observations on the minimum clinical important difference measurement in spine literature

Written by Laura Dyrda | July 17, 2017 | Print  |

A new study published in Spine examines the current trends in spine literature today.


The study authors examined the minimum clinically important difference-related publications in four spine journals published from 2011 to 2015. The MCID is the "smallest change in a domain of interest that is considered beneficial to a patient or clinician." The analysis included all articles that used patient reported outcome scores. The study authors found:


1. Around 16 percent of the articles that used patient-reported outcomes referenced the MCID; 8.3 percent independently calculated the values and 59.1 percent used previously published values to gauge results.


2. The articles showed a two- or three-fold range in recommended minimum clinically important difference values for the same instrument even though the papers cited similar calculation methods.


3. Nearly all of the studies—97.2 percent—relied on the generic MCID when evaluating their own results. When studies used specific MCID for narrowly defined treatments or indications, they didn't consistently match characteristics.


4. In 48 percent of the studies, the authors compared group averages to the MCID threshold instead of individual scores.


5. Around half of the MCID studies recommended values within the measurement error. "Despite a clear interest in MCID as a measurement of patient improvement, its current development and users have been inconsistent," concluded study authors.


More articles on spine surgery:

Does failed spinal fusion cost justify initial BMP use?
The future of spine biologics—Where 4 spine surgeons see it heading
5 key notes on reoperation for recurrent disc herniation

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies here.

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months