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Ann Phys Rehabil Med. 2010 May;53(4):224-31, 231-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Apr 8.

Seeking care for lower back pain in the French population aged from 30 to 69: the results of the 2002-2003 Décennale Santé survey.

[Article in English, French]

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  • 1Epidémiologie des déterminants professionnels et sociaux de la santé, U1018 Inserm, hôpital Paul-Brousse, 16, avenue Paul-Vaillant-Couturier, 94807 Villejuif cedex, France.



To describe the frequency with which members of the French general population in the 30-to-69 age class sought care for lower back pain (LBP) from various healthcare professionals and to identify associated parameters.


Data were collected in the 2002-2003 Décennale Santé survey, which is representative of ordinary households in continental France. We assessed the frequency with which the 17,792 surveyed individuals sought care for LBP by considering consultations with healthcare professionals in general and consultations with general practitioners and physiotherapists in particular.


Among the survey subjects, 4.5% reported that they had sought treatment for LBP from a healthcare professional at least once during the 2-month survey period. The decision to seek care was correlated with the characteristics of the LBP. The duration of the pain was associated with the frequency of all types of consultation studied here. Sociodemographic, economic and occupational risk factors were also involved. Consultation with a physiotherapist was related to income.


These results from a representative sample of the French general population show that the factors associated with seeking treatment for LBP differ according to the type of healthcare professional consulted.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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