The effect of an integrated multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme for patients with chronic low back pain: Long-term follow up of a randomised controlled trial

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Objective: To compare the long-term effectiveness of an integrated rehabilitation programme with an existing rehabilitation programme, in terms of back-specific disability, in patients with chronic low back pain. Design: A single-centre, pragmatic, two-arm parallel, randomised controlled trial. Setting: A rheumatology rehabilitation centre in Denmark. Subjects: A total of 165 adults (aged ⩾ 18 years) with chronic low back pain. Interventions: An integrated programme (a pre-admission day, two weeks at home, two weeks inpatient followed by home-based activities, plus two 2-day inpatient booster sessions, and six-month follow-up visit) was compared with an existing programme (four-week inpatient, and six-month follow-up visit). Main measure: The primary outcome was disability measured using the Oswestry Disability Index after one year. Secondary outcomes included pain intensity (Numerical Rating Scale), pain self-efficacy (Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire), health-related quality of life (EuroQol-5 Domain 5-level (EQ-5D)), and depression (Major Depression Inventory). Analysis was by intention-to-treat, using linear mixed models. Results: 303 patients were assessed for eligibility of whom 165 patients (mean age 50 years (SD 13) with a mean Oswestry Disability Index score of 42 (SD 11)) were randomly allocated (1:1 ratio) to the integrated programme (n = 82) or the existing programme (n = 83). The mean difference (integrated programme minus existing programme) in disability was –0.53 (95% CI –4.08 to 3.02); p = 0.770). No statistically significant differences were found in the secondary outcomes. Conclusion: The integrated programme was not more effective in reducing long-term disability in patients with chronic low back pain than the existing programme.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Pages (from-to)232-241
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • biopsychosocial approach, Chronic low back pain, complex interventions, multidisciplinary rehabilitation

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