Date of Award

December 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Ying-Chih Wang

Committee Members

Bhagwant Sindhu, Leigh Lehman


lumbar impairments, occupational therapy, outpatient, rehabilitation, spine impairments


Lumbar spine impairments affect an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living, making it pertinent to understand the importance of rehabilitation and variables influencing clinical outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine variables (demographics, health conditions, and biopsychosocial) that contribute to larger functional status (FS) improvement for patients with lumbar spine impairments seeking outpatient rehabilitation therapy. This study was a secondary data analysis of data collected by FOTO Inc. (Knoxville, TN, USA). A sample of 221,168 participants with lumbar spine impairments were analyzed. Correlations were performed to examine the strength of the linear relationship between variables of interest and functional status change (FSCH) at discharge. Multi-linear regression was used to create regression equations that predict FSCH at discharge. Results revealed that patients who were younger, had more acute conditions, fewer comorbidities, fewer surgeries, lower FS at admission, a lower pain rating at worst and within 24 hours, lower Modified Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (MOS) score at admission and higher pain rating at best experienced greater improvement at discharge. A final linear regression model equation was identified, with symptom acuity, FS admission score and MOS admission score being the three factors that explain the most variance.