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Front Psychol. 2014 Aug 4;5:839. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00839. eCollection 2014.

Mindfulness-Based Functional Therapy: a preliminary open trial of an integrated model of care for people with persistent low back pain.

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School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University Perth, WA, Australia.
School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University Perth, WA, Australia ; Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University Perth, WA, Australia.



This pilot study investigated the feasibility and clinical utility of implementing a novel, evidence-informed, interdisciplinary group intervention-Mindfulness Based Functional Therapy (MBFT)-for the management of persistent low back pain (LBP) in primary care. MBFT aimed to improve physical and psychological functioning in patients with persistent LBP.


A single-group repeated measures design was utilized to gather data about feasibility, effect sizes, clinically significant changes and patient satisfaction.


A community sample of 16 adults (75% female), mean (SD) age 47.00 (9.12) years (range 26-65 years), with mean (SD) LBP duration of 8.00 (9.00) years participated, using a simulated primary care setting at Curtin University in Australia.


MBFT is an 8-week group intervention co-facilitated by psychology and physiotherapy disciplines. Content includes: mindfulness meditation training, cognitive-functional physiotherapeutic movement retraining, pain education, and group support.


Several validated self-report measures were used to assess functional disability, emotional functioning, mindfulness, pain catastrophizing, health-related quality of life at baseline, post-intervention, and 6 months follow-up.


Adherence and satisfaction was high, with 85% of participants highly satisfied with MBFT. Clinical significance analysis and effect size estimates showed improvements in a number of variables, including pain catastrophizing, physical functioning, role limitations due to physical condition, and depression, although these may have occurred due to non-intervention effects.


MBFT is feasible to implement in primary care. Preliminary findings suggest that a randomized controlled trial is warranted to investigate its efficacy in improving physical and emotional functioning in people with disabling persistent LBP.


chronic pain; clinical psychology; low back pain; mindfulness; pain catastrophizing; physiotherapy; pilot study

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