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Clin J Pain. 2003 Mar-Apr;19(2):87-96.

Secondary prevention of work-related disability in nonspecific low back pain: does problem-solving therapy help? A randomized clinical trial.

Author information

1
Department of Medical, Clinical and Experimental Psychology, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. a.vandenhout@zw.unimaas.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Given the individual and economic burden of chronic work disability in low back pain patients, there is a need for effective preventive interventions. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether problem-solving therapy had a supplemental value when added to behavioral graded activity, regarding days of sick leave and work status.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial.

PATIENTS AND SETTING:

Employees who were recently on sick leave as a result of nonspecific low back pain were referred to the rehabilitation center by general practitioner, occupational physician, or rehabilitation physician. Forty-five employees had been randomly assigned to the experimental treatment condition that included behavioral graded activity and problem-solving therapy (GAPS), and 39 employees had been randomly assigned to behavioral graded activity and group education (GAGE).

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Days of sick leave and work status. Data were retrieved from occupational health services.

RESULTS:

Data analyses showed that employees in the GAPS group had significantly fewer days of sick leave in the second half-year after the intervention. Moreover, work status was more favorable for employees in this condition, in that more employees had a 100% return-to-work and fewer patients ended up receiving disability pensions one year after the intervention. Sensitivity analyses confirmed these results.

CONCLUSIONS:

The addition of problem-solving therapy to behavioral graded activity had supplemental value in employees with nonspecific low back pain.

PMID:
12616178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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