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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2002 Aug 10;122(18):1800-3.

[How is the general practitioner managing the back pain?].

[Article in Norwegian]

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  • 1Nasjonalt Ryggnettverk Formidlingsenheten KGR, Ullevål universitetssykehus 0407 Oslo.



A great number of patients in general practice suffer from low back pain, and the total cost of this patient population is NOK 15 billion. The aim of this study was to find out how family doctors treat their low back pain patients.


During a two week period in 2001, all family doctors in Aust-Agder county were invited to register all patients suffering from low back pain. They also answered a questionnaire about themselves and their practice.


Of the total 80 doctors invited, 53 (66%) recorded their patients, and 48 (60%) also answered the questionnaire. 220 patients were included; i.e. 3.4% of the total number of patients seen in these practices during this period. 81% of the patients underwent clinical examination, 40% were referred to X-ray or CT, 31% to an appropriate specialist, 32% to physiotherapist and 11% to chiropractor. Most of the patients were referred after 12 weeks of pain. 79% of patients received a prescription. Only 24% continued working activity.


Most patients in this study receive a medical treatment and a sick leave. More patients are referred to X-ray than what is recommended in the Norwegian guidelines.

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