Health Quality Ontario releases new Quality Standard for Low Back Pain 

On January 16, 2019, Health Quality Ontario releases a new quality standard which addresses care for those 16 years of age and older with acute low back pain, with or without leg symptoms. It examines the assessment, diagnosis, and management of people with this condition by health care professionals across all health care settings, with a focus on primary care.

The quality standard provides guidance on reducing unnecessary diagnostic imaging, encouraging physical activity, providing education, giving reassurance, assisting with self-management support, prescribing pharmacological therapies, and suggesting additional nonpharmacological therapies.

The standard offers a unified approach to managing low-back pain for patients across Ontario, and will help health professionals to work as a team to do what’s best for the system and their patients. Moreover, it represents an opportunity for clinicians and patients to refer to the same sources of information, offering a common ground.

View the Quality Standard for Low Back Pain.

Implications for Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists may work directly with clients who experience low back pain independently or as part of an interprofessional team.  Attention to this evidence based standard of approach to quality care is important.  

Occupational therapists may use the Quality Standard to identify those components of clients’ care that may be well met by an occupational therapist member of an interprofessional team, enabling OTs to promote their services to primary providers who are typically physicians, physiotherapists or chiropractors.  Promotion of OT services to interprofessional colleagues may be supported by OSOT's professional promotional resources.