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Med Lav. 2013 Sep-Oct;104(5):380-92.

The effect of a multimodal group programme in hospital workers with persistent low back pain: a prospective observational study.

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Occupational Health Section, Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.



Low Back Pain (LBP) is a very common disorder in hospital workers. Several studies examined the efficacy of multimodal interventions for health care providers suffering from LBP; nevertheless their results did not appear to be consistent.


The aim of the study was to determine the effect of a multimodal group programme (MGP) on pain and disability in a sample of hospital workers with persistent LBP.


A prospective cohort study was conducted to compare baseline measurements with changes over an eight-month period. The study focused on 109 workers suffering from persistent LBP with or without radiating pain. 62 nurses and 47 blue collars not involved in health care. The MGP consisted of six group sessions including supervised exercises, an at-home programme and ergonomic advice. The primary outcome measurement was the level of disability recorded with the Roland & Morris Disability Questionnaire, while the secondary outcome measurement was the evaluation of lumbar physical discomfort with the Visual Analogue Scale. Data were analyzed using the Multiple Imputation method for dropouts.


At the short-term follow-up participants showed a statistically significant reduction (from baseline) of all outcome measurements, particularly for the nurses group. Moreover, about a third of the subjects showed clinically significant improvement. No significant reduction in pain and disability (from baseline) was observed at the mid-term follow-up in either group.


An MGP dedicated to hospital workers seems to be partially useful only for short-term follow-up, particularly for health care providers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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