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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Oct;42(10):831-41. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2012.3980. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

A web-based intervention to improve and prevent low back pain among office workers: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1University of Extremadura, Caceres, Spain.



Randomized controlled trial.


To test the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of a web-based multidisciplinary intervention for office workers with subacute, nonspecific low back pain.


Low back pain is one of the most frequent ailments seen in primary care consultations.


The trial included 100 office workers with subacute low back pain. The intervention group had access to both the study intervention and standard care. The control group had access to standard care only. Standard care was defined as all existing non-web-based interventions offered by the University of Extremadura's Preventive Medicine Service. The web-based program was offered via the Preventive Medicine Service website. The participants in the intervention group were asked to engage in the web-based program at their work site for 11 minutes each day, 5 days a week. Primary outcomes were functional disability, as measured by the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, and health-related quality of life, as measured by the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions-3 Levels. Secondary outcomes were the number of episodes of low back pain and trunk muscle endurance. Outcomes were measured before and after the 9-month intervention period.


Over the 9-month study, the score on the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire for the participants in the web-based intervention group improved by a mean of -7.36 points (95% confidence interval [CI]: -8.41, -6.31) compared to a worsening of 1.89 points (95% CI: 0.71, 2.65) in the control group. The between-group difference in change on the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire over the study period was -9.25 points (95% CI: -10.57, -7.89). Similarly, over the 9-month study, the intervention group had a significant improvement in quality of life of 0.24 points (95% CI: 0.20, 0.29) compared to the control group.


A 9-month web-based intervention is feasible and effective to improve function and health-related quality of life and to decrease episodes of low back pain among office workers with a history of subacute, nonspecific low back pain.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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