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Table 4 Baseline characteristics and clinical findings of patients in the four variation patterns, and eight subgroups of the Persistent fluctuating and Episodic variation patterns

From: Neck pain patterns and subgrouping based on weekly SMS-derived trajectories

Main patterns and subgroups
NP variables
Ongoing/
Recovered
n = 45 (3.9%)
Persistent fluctuating
n = 569 (49.5%)
Episodic
n = 513 (44.6%)
Single episode
n = 23 (2.0%)
Age, mean (SD) 47 (16) 45 (13) 44 (12) 41 (13)
Female, n (%) 22 (49) 424 (76)a 386 (74)a 14 (61)
Currently on sick leave, n (%) 1 (2.2) 34 (6.1) 26 (5.0) 0 (0)
First episode, n (%) 19 (42) 53 (10)a 79 (15)a 9 (39)
Duration > 1 month, n (%) 18 (42) 484 (88)a 356 (69)a 11 (50)
> 3 previous episodes, n (%) 14 (31) 449 (81)b 321 (62) 7 (30)
Concomitant LBP, n (%) 13 (30) 342 (62)b 240 (47) 6 (27)
Headache, n (%) 18 (42) 447 (81)b 333 (65) 11 (50)
Pain intensity - NRS (0–10), median (IQR) 3 (1–5) 5 (3–6)b 3 (2–5) 2.5 (1–4)
Psychosocial screening –
ÖMPQ Short form (0–100), mean (SD)
26 (19) 43 (17)b 33 (16) 24 (16)
General health (VAS 0–100), mean (SD) 80 (13) 66 (20)b 75 (18) 80 (14)
Psychological distress - HSCL-10, mean (SD) 1.4 (0.4) 1.7 (0.5)b 1.5 (0.5) 1.3 (0.3)
Severe   2.0 (0.6)c 1.6 (0.5)  
Moderate   1.8 (0.5)c 1.5 (0.4)  
Mild   1.7 (0.5)c 1.5 (0.5)  
Minor   1.5 (0.5) 1.4 (0.2)  
Disability – NDI, mean (SD) 5.2 (3.4) 13.9 (6.6)b 9.4 (5.9) 7.5 (4.8)
Severe   22.5 (7.9)c 11.2 (5.9)  
Moderate   15.5 (5.9)c 8.8 (6.1)  
Mild   12.1 (5.2)c 7.4 (5.0)  
Minor   10.1 (5.7)c 5.3 (2.9)  
Radiation into arm at baseline, n (%) 24 (56) 449 (81)b 371 (73) 12 (55)
Severe   41 (84) 194 (75)  
Moderate   147 (84)c 115 (70)  
Mild   228 (79) 58 (72)  
Minor   33 (75) 4 (56)  
  1. NP, Neck pain; SD, Standard deviation; LBP, Low back pain; EQ-5D; ÖMPQ, Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire Short-form; IQR, Interquartile range; HSCL-10, Hopkins Symptom Checklist-10; CI, Confidence Interval, 95%; NDI, Neck disability index. a,b,c,dCalculated with Chib and ANOVA. Results in boldface are statistically significant (p < 0.05) differences between: aPersistent fluctuating and Episodic patterns and the Ongoing and Single episode patterns respectively, but not between Persistent fluctuating and Episodic patterns, bPersistent fluctuating pattern and the three other patterns respectively, c between Persistent fluctuating and Episodic subgroups