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Man Ther. 2006 Nov;11(4):272-8. Epub 2005 Aug 8.

Exercise therapy for low back pain: a small-scale exploratory survey of current physiotherapy practice in the Republic of Ireland acute hospital setting.

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School of Physiotherapy, Health Sciences Complex, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland.


A small-scale exploratory cross-sectional survey investigated the current use of a range of exercise therapy approaches for low back pain (LBP) by outpatient physiotherapists in the acute hospital setting in the Republic of Ireland, where the majority of publicly funded treatment is delivered. Of the 120 postal questionnaires distributed to 24 physiotherapy departments, 87 were returned (72.5% response rate). The results showed specific spinal stabilization exercises were the most popular exercise therapy for acute (39%; n = 35) and chronic (51%; n = 48) LBP, followed by the McKenzie approach (acute LBP (ALBP) 35.6%; n = 32: chronic LBP (CLBP) 17%; n = 16), and abdominal exercise (ALBP 11.1%; n = 10: CLBP 9.6%; n = 9). The most popular forms of exercise therapy used by outpatient physiotherapists in acute hospital settings in Ireland lack support from evidence-based clinical guidelines, and further large-scale high quality randomized controlled trials of these approaches are warranted. Further research should also establish the use of exercise therapy and attitudes to clinical guidelines of physiotherapists in other countries and healthcare settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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