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Int J Public Health. 2007;52(5):286-94.

An internet-based approach to enhance self-managementof chronic low back pain in the italian-speaking population of Switzerland: results from a pilot study.

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Institute of Communication and Health, School of Communication Sciences, University of Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland.



To illustrate the development and pilot evaluation of a website designed to enhance self-management of chronic low back pain for the Italian-speaking population of Switzerland.


20 patients affected by chronic low back pain used a website--specifically created for the project--for a period of five months, under the monitoring of a team of health professionals. Evaluation was carried out by means of a telephone questionnaire administered at baseline and at the end of the intervention, and intermediate online user-testing performed in the fourth month of the intervention. A control group of 15 patients was created to assist the evaluation.


Compared to the control group, results from the pilot evaluation suggest a decrease in the intensity of back pain in people with access to the website; an increase in physical activity; a reduction in both medical consultation and the use of painkillers, and a gain in declarative and procedural knowledge. This coincides with a general positive assessment of the website.


The study supports the need to test the proposed approach on a wider scale.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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