Group Education Interventions for People With Low Back Pain: An Overview of the Literature

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Abstract

Study Design.

This study systematically reviewed the literature on group education for people with low back pain. Findings are considered in relation to parameters such as the characteristics of the study participants, the intervention, and the setting.

Objective.

To make a recommendation regarding the effectiveness of group education as an intervention for people with low back pain.

Results.

Based on a systematic search of the literature, 13 primary studies are cited; 6 of these were sufficiently well designed and executed for their findings to be considered. Of the four quality studies with chronic back pain subjects, only one found a positive shortterm effect on one of the outcome measures considered (pain intensity). In the two studies with acute cases, group education was found by one of the studies to reduce pain duration and initial sick leave duration in the short term, but the intervention also included work-site visits. At 1 year of follow-up, there was no evidence in the six studies of clinically important benefits on any of the outcome measures.

Conclusions.

There is insufficient evidence to recommend group education for people with low back pain. [Key words: back school, back pain, review, education] Spine 1994;19:1214–1222

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