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Gesundheitswesen. 2010 Dec;72(12):e78-88. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1246174. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

[Effect of written patient information on knowledge and function of patients with acute uncomplicated back pain (PIK Study)].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Allgemeinmedizin und Familienmedizin, Fakultät für Medizin, Universität Witten/Herdecke, 58448 Witten.



If patients return early in the course of acute, uncomplicated back pain to their normal activities, their symptoms improve more quickly. Written detailed patient information can have a positive effect on knowledge and can increase physical activity. In this study the effect of a short evidence-based back pain leaflet on knowledge, function and patients' beliefs was investigated.


A randomised controlled trial was carried out in 12 primary care practices. Patients with acute, uncomplicated back pain received either the back-pain specific information (intervention) or a leaflet without content regarding back pain (control). Participants' data were inquired before consultation of the general practitioner, as well as 1 week and 3 months later. Outcome measures were SF-36, FABQ-D, FFbH-R, knowledge concerning back pain, frequency of use of the leaflet, usefulness of the information and change of behaviour.


The included patients totaled 174. The response rates were 74.7% (1 week) and 67% (3 months). Patients receiving the intervention leaflet showed better knowledge at 1 week and greater improvement in function scores at 3 months. There was no effect on patients' beliefs. Patients of the intervention group reported more activity in everyday life.


Short written information may have small, in total possibly positive effects on knowledge, support of activity and function in patients with acute, uncomplicated back pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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