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Table 2 Study characteristics and quality issues for all included articles

From: Does back and neck pain become more common as you get older? A systematic literature review

Author country year of publication Sample size and response rate Method of data collection: Generalisability: Selection bias: Participants informed of the definition of BP and anatomical area:
   Questionnaire Random sampling of general population (RS) or whole population approached (WP) weak and confused individuals likely to have been excluded In writing
   Interview   Other types of possible selection bias With a drawing
   Physical examination Response rate >70% (RRhigh)   Personal communication
    Comparison of responders and non-responders (COMP) or adjusted (ADJ) for non-responders   
Andrianakos[9] Greece 2003 8,740 Home interview RS No Personal communication
  82%   RRhigh   
    COMP   
Freburger[10]* USA 2009 2,723 (2006) Telephone interview RS To some degree (telephone household interviews) Personal communication
  57%   -   
    ADJ   
Goode[11]* USA 2010 2,809 Telephone interview RS To some degree (telephone household interviews) Personal communication
  57%   -   
    COMP   
Guez[12] Sweden 2002 6,000 Telephone interview RS No Not described
  72%   RRhigh   
    COMP   
Hartvigsen[13] Denmark 2004 4,486 Home interview WP To some degree (telephone household interviews) Personal communication
  80.4%   -   
    -   
Keenan[14] UK 2006 16,222 Postal questionnaire RS No With a drawing
  86%   RRhigh   
    COMP   
Parsons[15] UK 2007 2,504 Postal questionnaire RS Individuals excluded by GP if for example terminal illness, severe psychiatric disorder or severe dementia; or requested not to be involved in research With a drawing
  60%   -   
    COMP   
Picavet[16] Netherlands 2003 3,664 Postal questionnaire RS No Not described
  47%   -   
    COMP   
Santos-Eggimann[17] Switzerland 2000 3,227 Questionnaire RS No With a drawing
  76% and 52% (two populations sampled)   +/- RRhigh (two populations)   
    COMP   
Strine[18] USA 2007 31,004 Household interview RS To some degree (household interviews) Not described
  74%   RRhigh   
    ADJ   
Thomas[19] UK 2004 7,878 Postal questionnaire RS Individuals excluded by GP if for example severe psychiatric or terminal illness With a drawing
  71%   RRhigh   
    COMP   
Webb[20] UK 2003 4,515 Postal questionnaire RS Unsuitable excluded by their GP Not described
  79%   RRhigh   
    -   
  1. *Article reporting on more than one survey in which only the latest survey was included in our review.