Clinical effects of a nine-month web-based intervention in subacute non-specific low back pain patients: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Objective:

To test the clinical effect of a web-based lower back pain intervention on quality of life and selected lower back pain outcomes.

Design:

A prospective single-blinded randomized intervention.

Setting:

Occupational preventive service.

Subjects:

One hundred office workers with non-specific subacute lower back pain.

Intervention:

The 50 intervention group subjects were educated daily about sitting correctly and asked to perform exercises shown by video demonstrations on the university website. The exercise routines included strengthening, mobility and stretching exercises focused on the postural stability muscles. The 50 control group subjects only received standard occupational care.

Measures:

Outcomes were measured by the EuroQol questionnaire five dimensions three levels, the Oswestry Disability Index, and the StarT Back Screening Tool questionnaires. At nine months, the intervention group outcomes were compared to the baseline data and the control group outcomes.

Results:

For 97% (n = 45) of the experimental group quality of life (clinical utility) improved significantly; 3.58 times greater than the control group. Oswestry Disability Index showed an odds ratio (OR) of 5.42 with a 37% (n = 17) change for the intervention group with respect to the control group. With regard to the StarT Back Screening Tool, 76% (n = 35) of the intervention group improved their clinical state (odds ratio = 3.04 with respect to the control group improvement). Logistic regression analysis revealed positive changes in EuroQol questionnaire, increasing the likelihood of observing positive changes in StarT Back Screening Tool (OR = 15.5) and Oswestry Disability Index (OR = 4.5).

Conclusions:

The intervention showed clinical improvements in quality of life and selected lower back pain outcomes in the experimental group compared to the control group.

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