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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2008 Jan-Feb;26(1):81-8.

Effectiveness of a back school program in low back pain.

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São Paulo Federal University, Division of Rheumatology, São Paulo, Brazil.



To evaluate the effectiveness of a back school program in pain, functional status, quality of life, and in anxiety and depression in patients with non-specific low back pain.


Sixty patients with low back pain were randomized to an intervention and control group. The intervention group underwent a five-weekly back school program. The control group was seen in weekly medical visits, without educative approaches. Both groups took acetaminophen as analgesic medication. All subjects were evaluated by a blind physiotherapist after randomization, 30, 60 and 120 days. Rolland-Morris, SF-36, STAI and Beck questionnaires, pain visual analogical scale and Schober's test were applied. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) consumption was considered co-intervention. The statistical analyses were performed using Pearson's Chi-Square analysis and Student's t-test to compare the baseline characteristics of the groups and the analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures to assess changes inter/intra groups.


There were no significant differences in the baseline characteristics between the two groups. Fifty-five patients completed the study. The intervention group showed a significant improvement in the general health domain, assessed by SF-36, and also in the reduction of acetaminophen and NSAID intake. There was no significant difference between the groups in pain, functional status, anxiety or depression.


The back school program was more effective than any educational intervention in general health status and in decreasing acetaminophen and NSAID intake. It was ineffective in the other quality of life domains, in pain, functional status, anxiety and depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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