OBJECTIVES: To present the process of creating an imaging-guided injections outcomes database and to reflect on how this database has affected the scientific activities of the radiology department.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The literature was searched to identify studies on the effectiveness of musculoskeletal therapeutic injections, areas where research is lacking, and relevant outcome measures. Validated outcome measures were chosen and tested in a pilot study. Data collection time points of 1 day, 1 week and 1 month post-injection were determined and the post-pilot study postal questionnaires were created. The data collection process began and has been ongoing for over 4 years. Critical reflection on the process and outcomes from the database occurred.
RESULTS: The 9 steps to creating this outcomes database are presented. The numerical rating scale for pain (NRS) and the Patient's Global Impression of Change (PGIC) were identified as the most valid, reliable, and time-effective outcome measures. At most, 50% of patients return their postal questionnaire. The database has facilitated the publication of numerous research projects.
CONCLUSIONS: Setting up an outcomes database is straightforward and productive. The NRS and PGIC were considered the most useful outcome measures. This database facilitated critical reflection on current practice and provides the foundation for several research studies.