What is the efficacy of an integrated care program for the treatment of mechanical low back pain?

Updated: Mar 06, 2018
  • Author: Everett C Hills, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

Lambeek et al assessed the efficacy of an integrated care program for chronic LBP against that of a more conventional care program, as a means of helping patients with this condition return to work. In the study, 66 patients received integrated care from a team made up of a clinical occupational physician, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a medical specialist. Treatment included workplace intervention involving participatory ergonomics, as well as a graded activity program. Another 68 patients received the usual type of care for chronic back pain, administered by a medical specialist, general practitioner, occupational physician, and/or allied health care professionals.

Members of the integrated care group achieved a full, sustainable return to work in a median period of 88 days, while the same was accomplished in the conventional care group after a median 208 days. By 12-month follow-up, the integrated care group had experienced significantly greater improvement in functional status than had the conventional care patients. However, the investigators found no significant difference in pain reduction between the 2 groups at 12 months. [8]


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