Outcomes Calculators

- for Informed Decision Making in Back Surgery

Patients who understand their individualized likelihood of benefits and risk of harms with surgery are more likely to make treatment choices that are consistent with their goals and values. However, patients often lack pertinent information when considering back surgery. Incorporating clinical evidence into routine practice has been an ongoing challenge in management of low back problems. Creating a customized interpretation for individual patients based on their personal characteristics could have a profound effect on decision-making.

The overarching goal of Dartmouth MCRC Project 2 is to improve dissemination of the best clinical evidence on individualized risk-benefit tradeoffs for patients considering lumbar spine surgery. This project, based on a unique collaboration between clinical researchers at Dartmouth and Consumers Union, will develop web-based tools to facilitate the transfer of scientific results from complex clinical trials directly to physicians and patients. Ultimately, the calculator will be freely disseminated as a web application. This tool will offer patients and providers the opportunity to better incorporate evidence from clinical trials into their decisions regarding back surgery.

Jon Lurie, MD, MS - Project Leader
Tor Tosteson, PhD - Project Leader
William Abdu, MD, MS
Abbe Herzig, PhD, Consumers Union
Adam Pearson, MD, MS
Doris Peter, PhD, Consumers Union
Elissa Schuler-Adair, PhD, Consumers Union
Kevin Spratt, PhD

knowledge informs change