Spine Education Seems Ineffective in Pain Prevention

Quality of reviewed articles low; only one large study with acceptable methodological quality

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Educational interventions, mainly focused on a biomechanical/biomedical model, do not seem to be effective in preventing low back pain, according to a review published in the December issue of the European Spine Journal.

Christophe Demoulin, from the University of Liège in Belgium, and colleagues conducted a literature review to examine the efficacy of preventive educational interventions, focusing on a biomechanical/biomedical model, for low back pain. Nine randomized controlled trials, all conducted at the workplace, were included, which studied the efficacy on outcomes related to low back pain.

The researchers found that the mean quality level was low (5.1/12), and of four large studies (sample size more than 400 subjects) only one had acceptable methodological quality (6/12). There was wide variation in the education interventions between the studies. During follow-up, in eight of the nine studies, there were no significant differences seen on the incidence of back pain, disability, and sick leave in the education group versus controls.

"The results of the randomized controlled trials included in this review suggest that educational interventions mainly focused on a biomechanical/biomedical model are not effective in preventing low back pain," the authors write. "Additional high-quality studies with a longer education period are needed to conclude that such interventions are inefficient."

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