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Table 1 Requested investigations and referrals to secondary care for different acute LBP types within four weeks from initial visit (n = 346)

From: Management of low back pain in general practice – is it of acceptable quality: an observational study among 25 general practices in South Tyrol (Italy)

Investigation Acute lumbar pain (n = 265) Acute sciatica (n = 81) p-value
X-ray 19.2% 21.0% 0.72
MRI scan 1.5% 13.6% <0.05
CT scan 0.4% 13.6% <0.05
Blood test 3.0% 1.2% 0.35
Referrals to    
Orthopaedic surgeons 6.8% 13.6% 0.06
Neurosurgeons 0.0% 23.5% <0.05
Specialists for physical medicine 1.5% 2.5% 0.60
At least one investigation requested 24.2% 49.4% <0.05