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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Aug;19(4):671-84.

What is the most cost-effective treatment for patients with low back pain? A systematic review.

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Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Economic evaluations of the various interventions available for low back pain will help clinicians and policymakers to identify the most beneficial treatment. This chapter aims to evaluate the most cost-effective treatments for patients with non-specific low back pain. Pubmed, Embase and the Cochrane library were used to search for articles published from 1966 to July 2004 using a variety of keywords. References were checked to identify additional studies. The consensus health economic criteria (CHEC) list was used to assess the methodological quality of the studies. We found 17 studies; six of these concluded that the intervention of interest was superior to the control intervention. However, definite conclusions about the most cost-effective intervention could not be drawn because of the heterogeneity of interventions, controls and study populations. More high-quality economic evaluations are needed before such a conclusion can be made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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