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BMJ. 2001 Jun 23;322(7301):1511-6.

Multidisciplinary rehabilitation for chronic low back pain: systematic review.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Work and Health, Toronto, Canada M4W 1E6.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effect of multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation on clinically relevant outcomes in patients with chronic low back pain.

DESIGN:

Systematic literature review of randomised controlled trials.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 1964 patients with disabling low back pain for more than three months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Pain, function, employment, quality of life, and global assessments.

RESULTS:

Ten trials reported on a total of 12 randomised comparisons of multidisciplinary treatment and a control condition. There was strong evidence that intensive multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation with functional restoration improves function when compared with inpatient or outpatient non-multidisciplinary treatments. There was moderate evidence that intensive multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation with functional restoration reduces pain when compared with outpatient non-multidisciplinary rehabilitation or usual care. There was contradictory evidence regarding vocational outcomes of intensive multidisciplinary biopsychosocial intervention. Some trials reported improvements in work readiness, but others showed no significant reduction in sickness leaves. Less intensive outpatient psychophysical treatments did not improve pain, function, or vocational outcomes when compared with non-multidisciplinary outpatient therapy or usual care. Few trials reported effects on quality of life or global assessments.

CONCLUSIONS:

The reviewed trials provide evidence that intensive multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation with functional restoration reduces pain and improves function in patients with chronic low back pain. Less intensive interventions did not show improvements in clinically relevant outcomes.

Comment in

PMID:
11420271
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC33389
Free PMC Article

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