Isolated lumbar extensor strengthening versus regular physical therapy in an army working population with nonacute low back pain: a randomized controlled trial.
ABSTRACT To evaluate the effectiveness of specific lumbar extensor training compared with regular physical therapy (PT) in workers with nonspecific nonacute low back pain (LBP).
A multicenter randomized controlled trial with 1-year follow-up.
PT department in (military primary care) health centers.
Predominantly male soldiers (N=129) with 4 weeks or more of low back complaints who were referred by the health center's general practitioner for PT (mean age, 35.9+/-10.8 y; range, 20-56 y), of whom 127 randomized participants were included in the analyses. One patient withdrew because of adverse effects during treatment.
Participants were assigned to 1 of 2 treatment programs: (1) a 10-week device-supported isolated lumbar extension training, twice a week, or (2) regular PT, mainly consisting of exercise therapy and aerobic activities.
Functional status (Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, Patient-Specific Functional Scale) and global perceived effect were assessed in the short term (5 wk, 10 wk) and long term (6 mo, 12 mo).
Both groups showed a favorable development in main outcomes over time: short-term improvements (after 10 weeks of treatment) remained stable or even slightly increased throughout the 12-month follow-up. No significant differences between the 2 groups were shown for any of the outcome measures, at any time.
Consistent with prior evidence, specific back strengthening does not seem to offer incremental benefits in LBP management compared with regular PT care that mainly consists of general exercise therapy. (ISRCTN identifier ISRCTN19334317.)
Article: Prognostic factors for perceived recovery or functional improvement in non-specific low back pain: secondary analyses of three randomized clinical trials.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to report on secondary analyses of a merged trial dataset aimed at exploring the potential importance of patient factors associated with clinically relevant improvements in non-acute, non-specific low back pain (LBP). From 273 predominantly male army workers (mean age 39 +/- 10.5 years, range 20-56 years, 4 women) with LBP who were recruited in three randomized clinical trials, baseline individual patient factors, pain-related factors, work-related psychosocial factors, and psychological factors were evaluated as potential prognostic variables in a short-term (post-treatment) and a long-term logistic regression model (6 months after treatment). We found one dominant prognostic factor for improvement directly after treatment as well as 6 months later: baseline functional disability, expressed in Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire scores. Baseline fear of movement, expressed in Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia scores, had also significant prognostic value for long-term improvement. Less strongly associated with the outcome, but also included in our final models, were supervisor social support and duration of complaints (short-term model), and co-worker social support and pain radiation (long-term model). Information about initial levels of functional disability and fear-avoidance behaviour can be of value in the treatment of patient populations with characteristics comparable to the current army study population (e.g., predominantly male, physically active, working, moderate but chronic back problems). Individuals at risk for poor long-term LBP recovery, i.e., individuals with high initial level of disability and prominent fear-avoidance behaviour, can be distinguished that may need additional cognitive-behavioural treatment.European Spine Journal 04/2010; 19(4):650-9. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recovery is commonly used as an outcome measure in low back pain (LBP) research. There is, however, no accepted definition of what recovery involves or guidance as to how it should be measured. The objective of the study was designed to appraise the LBP literature from the last 10 years to review the methods used to measure recovery. The research design includes electronic searches of Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane database of clinical trials and PEDro from the beginning of 1999 to December 2008. All prospective studies of subjects with non-specific LBP that measured recovery as an outcome were included. The way in which recovery was measured was extracted and categorised according to the domain used to assess recovery. Eighty-two included studies used 66 different measures of recovery. Fifty-nine of the measures did not appear in more than one study. Seventeen measures used pain as a proxy for recovery, seven used disability or function and seventeen were based on a combination of two or more constructs. There were nine single-item recovery rating scales. Eleven studies used a global change scale that included an anchor of 'completely recovered'. Three measures used return to work as the recovery criterion, two used time to insurance claim closure and six used physical performance. In conclusion, almost every study that measured recovery from LBP in the last 10 years did so differently. This lack of consistency makes interpretation and comparison of the LBP literature problematic. It is likely that the failure to use a standardised measure of recovery is due to the absence of an established definition, and highlights the need for such a definition in back pain research.European Spine Journal 01/2011; 20(1):9-18. · 1.97 Impact Factor
Article: Sample size calculation in physical medicine and rehabilitation: a systematic review of reporting, characteristics, and results in randomized controlled trials.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To assess systematically the reporting of sample size calculation in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in 5 leading journals in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). The data source was full reports of RCTs in 5 leading PM&R journals (Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Clinical Rehabilitation, and Disability and Rehabilitation) between January and December of 1998 and 2008. Articles were identified in Medline. A total of 111 articles met our inclusion criteria, which include RCTs of human studies in the 5 selected journals. Sample size calculation reporting and trial characteristics were collected for each trial by independent investigators. In 2008, 57.3% of articles reported sample size calculation as compared with only 3.4% in 1998. The parameters that were commonly used were a power of 80% and alpha of 5%. Articles often failed to report effect size or effect estimates for sample size calculation. Studies reporting sample size calculation were more likely to describe the main outcome and to have a sample size greater than 50 subjects. The study outcome (positive vs negative) was not associated with the likelihood of sample size reporting. Trial characteristics of the 2 periods (1998 vs 2008) were similar except that in 1998 there were more negative studies compared with 2008. Although sample size calculation reporting has improved dramatically in 10 years and is comparable with other fields in medicine, it is still not adequate given current publication guidelines.Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 02/2011; 92(2):306-15. · 2.18 Impact Factor