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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(1):CD000963.

Multidisciplinary bio-psycho-social rehabilitation for chronic low back pain.

Author information

1
University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine, S112-750 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3E 0W3. guzmanj0@cc.umanitoba.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic low back pain is, in many countries, the main cause of long term disability in middle age. Patients with chronic low back pain are often referred for multidisciplinary treatment. Previous published systematic reviews on this topic included no randomised controlled trials and pooled together controlled and non-controlled studies.

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the effect of multidisciplinary bio-psycho-social rehabilitation on pain, function, employment, quality of life and global assessment outcomes in subjects with chronic disabling low back pain.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychLIT, CINAHL, Health STAR, and The Cochrane Library from the beginning of the database to June 1998 using the comprehensive search strategy recommended by the Back Review Group of the Cochrane Collaboration. INTERVENTION specific key words for this review were: patient care team, patient care management, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, multiprofessional, multimodal, pain clinic and functional restoration. We also reviewed reference lists and consulted the editors of the Back Review Group of the Cochrane Collaboration.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

DESIGN:

randomised controlled trials comparing multidisciplinary bio-psycho-social rehabilitation with a non-multidisciplinary control intervention.

POPULATION:

Adults with disabling low back pain of more than three months in duration.

INTERVENTION:

Patients had to be assessed and treated by qualified professionals according to a plan that addresses physical and at least one of psychological, or social/occupational dimensions.

OUTCOMES:

Only trials which reported treatment effect in at least one of pain, function, employment status, quality of life or global improvement. Exclusion: Pure educational interventions (back schools) and pure physical interventions were excluded.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Selection, data extraction and quality grading of studies was done by two independent reviewers using pre-tested data forms. Study quality was assessed according to the scheme recommended by the Back Review Group of the Cochrane Collaboration. Trials with internal validity scores of five or more in a ten point scale were considered high quality. Discrepancies between reviewers were resolved by consensus or by a third reviewer. Given the marked heterogeneity in study settings, interventions and control groups we decided not to pool trial results in a meta-analysis. Instead, we summarized findings by strength of evidence and nature of intervention and control treatments. The evidence was judged to be strong when multiple high quality trials produced generally consistent findings. It was judged to be moderate when multiple low quality or one high quality and one or more low quality trials produced generally consistent findings. Evidence was considered to be limited when only one randomised trial existed or if findings of existing trials were inconsistent.

MAIN RESULTS:

Ten trials (12 randomised comparisons) were included. They randomised a total of 1964 patients with chronic low back pain. There was strong evidence that intensive multidisciplinary bio-psycho-social rehabilitation with a functional restoration approach improved function when compared with inpatient or outpatient non-multidisciplinary treatments. There was moderate evidence that intensive multidisciplinary bio-psycho-social rehabilitation with a functional restoration approach improved pain when compared with outpatient non-multidisciplinary rehabilitation or usual care. There was contradictory evidence regarding vocational outcomes of intensive multidisciplinary bio-psycho-social intervention. Some trials reported improvements in work readiness, but others showed no significant reduction in sickness leaves. Less intensive outpatient psycho-physical 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.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

The reviewed trials provide evidence that intensive multidisciplinary bio-psycho-social rehabilitation with a functional restoration approach improves pain and function. Less intensive interventions did not show improvements in clinically relevant outcomes.

PMID:
11869581
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD000963
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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