Efficacy of classification-based cognitive functional therapy in patients with non-specific chronic low back pain: A randomized controlled trial

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DOI: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2012.00252.x · Source: PubMed
Cite this publication
Abstract
Background: Non-specific chronic low back pain disorders have been proven resistant to change, and there is still a lack of clear evidence for one specific treatment intervention being superior to another. Methods: This randomized controlled trial aimed to investigate the efficacy of a behavioural approach to management, classification-based cognitive functional therapy, compared with traditional manual therapy and exercise. Linear mixed models were used to estimate the group differences in treatment effects. Primary outcomes at 12-month follow-up were Oswestry Disability Index and pain intensity, measured with numeric rating scale. Inclusion criteria were as follows: age between 18 and 65 years, diagnosed with non-specific chronic low back pain for >3 months, localized pain from T12 to gluteal folds, provoked with postures, movement and activities. Oswestry Disability Index had to be >14% and pain intensity last 14 days >2/10. A total of 121 patients were randomized to either classification-based cognitive functional therapy group n = 62) or manual therapy and exercise group (n > = 59). Results: The classification-based cognitive functional therapy group displayed significantly superior outcomes to the manual therapy and exercise group, both statistically (p < 0.001) and clinically. For Oswestry Disability Index, the classification-based cognitive functional therapy group improved by 13.7 points, and the manual therapy and exercise group by 5.5 points. For pain intensity, the classification-based cognitive functional therapy improved by 3.2 points, and the manual therapy and exercise group by 1.5 points. Conclusions: The classification-based cognitive functional therapy produced superior outcomes for non-specific chronic low back pain compared with traditional manual therapy and exercise.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Efficacy of classification-based cognitive functional therapy
in patients with non-specific chronic low back pain:
A randomized controlled trial
K. Vibe Fersum1, P. O’Sullivan2, J.S. Skouen1,3, A. Smith2, A. Kvåle1
1 Physiotherapy Research Group, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Norway
2 School of Physiotherapy, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia
3 The Outpatient Spine Clinic, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
Correspondence
Kjartan Vibe Fersum
E-mail: kjartan.fersum@isf.uib.no
Funding sources
The Norwegian Fund for Post-Graduate
Training in Physiotherapy supported this
study.
Conflict of interest
We declare no conflict of interest.
Accepted for publication
31 October 2012
doi:10.1002/j.1532-2149.2012.00252.x
Abstract
Background: Non-specific chronic low back pain disorders have been
proven resistant to change, and there is still a lack of clear evidence for one
specific treatment intervention being superior to another.
Methods: This randomized controlled trial aimed to investigate the
efficacy of a behavioural approach to management, classification-based
cognitive functional therapy, compared with traditional manual therapy
and exercise. Linear mixed models were used to estimate the group
differences in treatment effects. Primary outcomes at 12-month follow-up
were Oswestry Disability Index and pain intensity, measured with numeric
rating scale. Inclusion criteria were as follows: age between 18 and 65
years, diagnosed with non-specific chronic low back pain for >3 months,
localized pain from T12 to gluteal folds, provoked with postures,
movement and activities. Oswestry Disability Index had to be >14% and
pain intensity last 14 days >2/10. A total of 121 patients were randomized
to either classification-based cognitive functional therapy group n=62) or
manual therapy and exercise group (n>=59).
Results: The classification-based cognitive functional therapy group
displayed significantly superior outcomes to the manual therapy and
exercise group, both statistically (p<0.001) and clinically. For Oswestry
Disability Index, the classification-based cognitive functional therapy
group improved by 13.7 points, and the manual therapy and exercise
group by 5.5 points. For pain intensity, the classification-based cognitive
functional therapy improved by 3.2 points, and the manual therapy and
exercise group by 1.5 points.
Conclusions: The classification-based cognitive functional therapy
produced superior outcomes for non-specific chronic low back pain
compared with traditional manual therapy and exercise.
1. Introduction
The current evidence for management of non-specific
chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) reveals that inter-
ventions such as manual therapy, exercise, acupunc-
ture, spinal injections and cognitive behavioural
therapy are not superior to each other and have a
limited long-term impact on the disorder (Assendelft
et al., 2004; Furlan et al., 2005; Hayden et al., 2005;
Ostelo et al., 2005; Staal et al., 2008).
Possible reasons for the failure of current clinical
practice to effectively manage NSCLBP are proposed to
lie in two main domains:
(1) The failure to adequately deal with NSCLBP
within a multidimensional biopsychosocial frame-
work (Borkan et al., 2002). It has been proposed that
1Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
NSCLBP represents a vicious cycle associated with dif-
ferent combinations of provocative factors. These
include cognitive factors (such as negative beliefs,
fear-avoidance behaviours, catastrophizing, hypervigi-
lance, anxiety, depression, stress, poor pacing and
maladaptive coping) (Vlaeyen and Crombez, 1999;
Linton, 2000), physical factors (pain provocative
postures and movement patterns related to altered
body schema, muscle guarding, pain behaviours and
deconditioning) (O’Sullivan et al. 2006b) and lifestyle
factors (sedentary behaviour, inactivity and sleep defi-
cits) (Bjorck-van Dijken et al., 2008).
(2) Lack of a multidimensional classification system
(MDCS) directing person-centred targeted manage-
ment for this large group of NSCLBP patients. The
Cochrane Back Review Group proposed that identifi-
cation of subgroups is a key priority of low back pain
(LBP) management in order to deal with the problem
of patient heterogeneity (Bouter et al., 2003). Recent
research supports this claim, with evidence that
NSCLBP subjects can be broadly classified based on
psychological factors (Turk, 2005; Boersma and Linton,
2006; Hill et al., 2010), movement and postural behav-
iours (Dankaerts et al., 2009), neurophysiological
factors (Smart et al., 2011) and lifestyle behaviours
[sedentary (Bjorck-van Dijken et al., 2008) vs. exces-
sive activity (Mitchell et al., 2010)]. In spite of this
knowledge, a recent systematic review concluded that
few clinical trials exist utilizing MDCS or targeted
interventions for NSCLBP (Fersum et al., 2010). The
few trials that have taken a targeted biopsychosocial
approach to the management of NSCLBP have dem-
onstrated a tendency for improved outcomes (Klaber
Moffett et al., 2004; Vollenbroek-Hutten et al., 2004;
Asenlof et al., 2005; Riipinen et al., 2005).
A novel MDCS for LBP has been developed incorpo-
rating the biopsychosocial model (O’Sullivan, 2005).
This system is integrated within the Quebec classifica-
tion system (Spitzer, 1987) and represents a multilevel
patient-centred clinical reasoning approach to broadly
classify and target management for patients with
NSCLBP. This person-centred intervention is called
classification-based ‘cognitive functional therapy’ (CB-
CFT) as it directly challenges these behaviours in a
cognitively integrated, functionally specific and gradu-
ated manner. This MDCS has good inter-tester reliabil-
ity (Dankaerts et al., 2006; Fersum et al., 2009), with a
number of studies supporting the validity of the differ-
ent subgroups on the physical domains (O’Sullivan
et al., 2006a,b; O’Sullivan and Beales, 2007a,b; Beales
et al., 2009; Dankaerts et al., 2009), as well as cogni-
tive domains (Boersma and Linton, 2006). This MDCS
has not been formally tested in a randomized con-
trolled trial (RCT) for NSCLBP disorders. Therefore, the
aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of
CB-CFT compared with manual therapy and exercise
(MT-EX) for the management of NSCLBP. The hypoth-
esis was that a person-centred classification-based
cognitive functional approach to management of
NSCLBP disorders would be more effective than
MT-EX approach.
2. Methods
2.1 Study design
The study was a RCT designed to evaluate the efficacy
of the CB-CFT according to the system proposed by
O’Sullivan (2005), as compared with MT-EX in
patients with NSCLBP. The effects of the intervention
were assessed at 3- and 12-month follow-up. The
study received ethical approval by the regional ethics
committee of medical research in Western Norway
(REK Vest). The clinical trial’s register number is
NCT01129817.
2.2 Participants and procedures
A Norwegian university town, Bergen, with 250,000
inhabitants, provided the setting for the study. The
patients were recruited from March 2006 to June
2008 from private physiotherapy outpatient practices,
general practitioners and the outpatient spine clinic at
the Haukeland University Hospital. In addition, six
advertisements were placed in the local newspaper. All
What’s already known about this topic?
Effect sizes from randomized controlled trials uti-
lizing conservative treatment for non-specific
chronic low back pain are small.
Stratified treatment seems to be warranted and
has socio-economic impact.
For non-specific chronic low back pain, there
does not seem to be a clear consensus as to which
classification system to use.
What does this study add?
First trial for non-specific chronic low back pain
utilizing a novel multidimensional classification
system and cognitive functional approach.
Cognitive functional approach shows clinical and
statistically significant large effect sizes for
primary outcomes as well as for secondary out-
comes across multiple dimensions.
Classification-based cognitive functional therapy K. Vibe Fersum et al.
2Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
patients were presented with written information
about the study with its aims and procedures. Here, it
was clearly stated that there were two active compa-
rable treatment arms, and that based on current
knowledge, we did know which was superior. The
patients gave a written informed consent prior to pro-
ceeding to the clinical examination. The participants
were eligible for the study if they were between the
ages of 18 and 65 years, were diagnosed with NSLBP
for >3 months that was primarily localized from T12
to gluteal folds, and they reported that their pain
was provoked and relieved with postures, movement
and activities. Pain intensity measured with a pain
intensity numerical rating scale (PINRS) over the last
14 days >2/10 and an Oswestry Disability Index
(ODI) >14% was necessary to be admitted to the
study.
The inclusion criteria of localized back pain with
mechanical behaviour to the pain were designed to
include patients whose movement behaviours had a
clear association with their pain disorder, for which
the CB-CFT intervention was designed.
The exclusion criteria were continuous sick-leave
duration for >4 months, as it was considered that
specific work-related intervention would have been
required, acute exacerbation of LBP at time of testing
in order to avoid regression to the mean, specific LBP
diagnosis (radicular pain, disc herniation, spondylolis-
thesis, stenosis, Modic changes), any low limb surgery
in the last 3 months, surgery involving the lumbar
spine, pregnancy, diagnosed psychiatric disorder,
widespread constant non-specific pain disorder, pain
without a clear mechanical behaviour, active rheuma-
tologic disease, progressive neurological disease,
serious cardiac or other internal medical condition,
malignant diseases, acute traumas, infections or acute
vascular catastrophes. A lack of compliance of greater
than 50% was set as a withdrawal criterion based on
programme compliance forms. An a priori power cal-
culation suggested that 63 patients in each group
would give 80% power to detect a group difference of
5 points in the ODI [estimating a standard deviation
(SD) of 10 points in both groups], and 1 point on the
PINRS at 1-year post-intervention (estimating an SD
of 2 points in both group).
The randomization took place at the University of
Bergen (UiB). A person independent of the study
developed a randomization schedule and produced
160 sealed opaque envelopes containing each partici-
pant’s allocation. Randomization was performed in
permuted blocks of 16. When the patients had been
examined and classified and a blinded examiner had
collected baseline data, the patient drew the envelope
containing their allocation and details of procedure in
relation to their allocation.
All subjects first underwent a comprehensive inter-
view and full physical examination at the Department
of Public Health and Primary Health Care, UiB. This
multidimensional examination was important in order
to broadly classify each subject based on his or her
pain provocative postures and movement behaviours,
lifestyle and cognitive behaviours (O’Sullivan, 2005).
During the interview, subjects were guided in ques-
tioning to inform: their history of pain, pain area and
nature, pain behaviour (aggravating/easing move-
ments and activities), their primary functional impair-
ments, disability levels, activity levels and sleep
patterns. Inquiries were also made regarding their
level of fear of pain and any avoidance of activities,
work and social engagement. Their degree of pain
focus, pain coping strategies, stress response and its
relationship to pain, and their pain beliefs were also
questioned as was any history of anxiety and depres-
sion. Finally, their beliefs and goals regarding manage-
ment of their disorder were ascertained. This
information was considered alongside the Orebro
Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire (OMPQ) (Linton
and Boersma, 2003) where the patient reported high
levels (>5) of stress/anxiety, depressed mood, fear of
movement and lack of pain coping strategies. These
factors were then considered within the context of the
movement behaviours and lifestyle factors, i.e., in the
context of fear, avoidance of physical activity and
specific pain provocative movement patterns were
assessed.
The physical examination involved analysis of the
subject’s primary functional impairments (pain pro-
vocative postures, movements and functional tasks
reported during the interview), assessment of their
body control and awareness, as well as easing postures
and movements (O’Sullivan, 2005).
The physical examination process involved a sys-
tematic process of assessment of pain provocative pos-
tures (such as sleeping, sitting, standing and bending)
and functional movement tasks (such as sit to stand,
single-leg stand, spinal movements and lifting) and
any other specific tasks nominated by the patient as
pain provocative or that they avoided. The validity
of this clinical examination approach has been dem-
onstrated in a number of studies (O’Sullivan et al.,
2006a,b; Dankaerts et al., 2007; O’Sullivan and
Beales, 2007a,b; Beales et al., 2009; Dankaerts et al.,
2009; Sheeran et al., 2012). The reliability has pre-
viously been reported for both physical and cogni-
tive aspects based on the health-care practitioners’
ability to synthesize the patient story and clinical
K. Vibe Fersum et al. Classification-based cognitive functional therapy
3Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
examination to broadly classify the patient, based on
identification of the primary drivers of the disorder
within the different levels of the MDCS (Dankaerts
et al., 2006; Fersum et al., 2009). The examination
process follows a systematic approach (as outlined in
Supporting Information Appendix S1), but is tailored
to the patients’ presentation. In Supporting Informa-
tion Appendix S2, all the included subjects and their
subsequent classification are outlined.
The intervention took place at 3 different private
clinics and lasted for 12 weeks. Patients were
followed-up immediately and 12 months post-
intervention. After the 12-week intervention period,
participants were permitted to seek alternative care,
and the frequency and type of treatment were moni-
tored in the follow-up questionnaires. A tester blinded
to allocation, pretreatment and at 3-month follow-up
distributed the questionnaires. During the 12-month
follow-up, the questionnaires were sent by mail.
2.3 Interventions
2.3.1 CB-CFT
The behavioural management approach provided was
based on the MDCS described by O’Sullivan (2005)
and Fersum et al. (2009). Three experienced phy-
siotherapists who conducted the management had
undergone, on average, 106 hours of CB-CFT training
(including workshops, patient examinations, pilot
study and clinical manual). Depending on the differ-
ent levels of the classification system, each patient
received a specific targeted intervention directed at
changing their individual cognitive, movement and
lifestyle behaviours considered by the therapist to be
maladaptive (provocative) of their disorder. Physio-
therapists were also guided by the individuals’ OMPQ
in order to better target their management within the
psychosocial domain. The CB-CFT intervention has
four main components: (1) a cognitive component, for
each patient, their vicious cycle of pain was outlined in
a diagram based on their findings from the examina-
tion and the OMPQ; (2) specific movement exercises
designed to normalize maladaptive movement behav-
iours as directed by the movement classification; (3)
targeted functional integration of activities in their
daily life, reported to be avoided or provocative by the
patient; and (4) a physical activity programme tailored
to the movement classification (see Supporting Infor-
mation Appendix S3 for detailed description of the
CB-CFT). The initial session was 1 h and follow-ups
were 30–45 min. Patients were seen at a weekly basis
for the first two to three sessions and then progressed
to one session every 2–3 weeks during the 12-week
intervention period.
All instructions for subjects were written, and they
were asked to complete the programme on a daily
basis and complete a daily diary outlining if they had
complied with each aspect of the intervention.
2.3.2 MT-EX
Participants allocated to the comparison group were
treated with joint mobilization or manipulation tech-
niques applied to the spine or pelvis consistent with
best current manual therapy practice. These therapists
were specialists in orthopaedic manual therapy with
an average of 25.7 years of experience with no prior
training in the use of the MDCS or CB-CFT. The
particular dose and techniques were at the discre-
tion of the treating therapist, based on each partici-
pant’s examination findings. In addition, most patients
(82.5%) in this group were given exercises or a home
exercise programme. This included general exercise or
motor control exercise, but not based on the specific
MDCS as outlined by O’Sullivan (2005). The motor
control exercises involved isolated contractions of the
deep abdominal muscles in different functional posi-
tions as previously described (Richardson et al., 1998).
The therapists in this group generally spent 1 h with
the patients for the initial consultation and 30 min for
follow-ups.
2.4. Treatment fidelity
Several strategies were applied to enhance treatment
fidelity. For every patient, a report was written, docu-
menting type of treatment, number of treatments,
medication usage before and after the intervention. In
addition, there was a therapist session-by-session
documentation of treatment content as well as indi-
vidual working sheets. The mean number of treat-
ments was 7.7 in the CB-CFT group (range 4–16; SD
2.6), and 8.0 in the MT-EX group (range 3–17; SD
2.9). All the treating physiotherapists in both treat-
ment arms prior to the intervention underwent half a
day of training with a clinical psychologist regarding
the concepts of best-practice cognitive approach to
managing back pain in order to standardize this for
both intervention arms as per clinical guidelines.
Therapy was in the primary care setting for both
groups and was pragmatic. Treatment was discontin-
ued if the therapist deemed the participant had no
further need of treatment before the 12 weeks were
completed, as is standard clinical practice. There was
Classification-based cognitive functional therapy K. Vibe Fersum et al.
4Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
no difference between the two groups in terms of
medication intake before or after the treatment.
2.5. Outcome measures
2.5.1 ODI
The primary outcome measurement for perceived
function was the ODI (Roland and Fairbank, 2000).
The ODI psychometric properties have been well
established (Fairbank and Pynsent, 2000). Studies
have shown good construct validity (Greenough,
1993; Strong et al., 1994), acceptable internal consis-
tency and test–retest reliability (Kopec et al., 1996),
and high responsiveness (Deyo and Centor, 1986).
2.5.2 Pain
Pain intensity in the previous week was another
primary outcome, measured by the PINRS (Jensen
et al., 1986). The PINRS measures pain severity by
asking the patient to select a number (from 0 to 10) to
represent how severe the pain had been over the last
2 weeks. PINRS is more reliable than the visual ana-
logue scale, especially with less educated patients
(Ferraz et al., 1990).
2.5.3 Hopkins Symptoms Checklist
Secondary outcome measures for anxiety and depres-
sion were Hopkins Symptoms Checklist (HSCL-25)
(Derogatis et al., 1974). It consists of 25 items: part I of
the HSCL-25 has 10 items for anxiety symptoms; part
II has 15 items for depression symptoms. Optimal
HSCL-25 cut-off was 1.67 for men and 1.75 for
women (Sandanger et al., 1998).
2.5.4 Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ)
The fear-avoidance beliefs of physical activity and
work were measured using the FABQ (Waddell et al.,
1993). The reliability and validity of this measure has
been reported previously (Kovacs et al., 2006).
2.5.5 Total lumbar spine range of motion
Total lumbar spine range of motion was measured
with the two inclinometer method (Mayer et al.,
1984) utilizing standardized protocol (Adams et al.,
1986; Bullock-Saxton, 1993; Chaory et al., 2004). The
true lumbar motion was obtained from a subtraction
of the pelvic motion from the gross motion expressed
in angular degrees of flexion and extension (Adams
et al., 1986).
2.5.6 Patient satisfaction
The patients filled out a patient satisfaction question-
naire (Ware and Davies, 1983) at 3- and 12-month
follow-up. This was just a simple questionnaire from 1
to 5 asking the patients how satisfied they were with
their treatment: 1 =satisfied, 2 =just a little satisfied,
3=neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 4 =just a little
dissatisfied, 5 =dissatisfied.
2.5.7 Sick-leave days
In case of sick-leave days, this was extracted from the
Ørebro Screening Questionnaire using a 10-category
variable. The question asked: ‘How many days of work
have you missed because of pain during the last 18
months?’ The 10 categories were merged into 3. First
category was 0 days, second category was 1–7 days
and third category was >7 days.
2.5.8 Care-seeking
Questions regarding subsequent treatments between
the 3-month intervention period and long-term
follow-up were also assessed with a questionnaire at
12 months. The patients were asked the following
questions: (1) Have you had any treatment since the
intervention finished? Yes/No; (2) What type of treat-
ment have you had?; and (3) How many treatments
have you had?
2.6 Statistical considerations and analysis
A linear mixed model was used to estimate the group
differences in treatment effect at both time points and
also in the change in outcome from 3- and 12-month
follow-up, with baseline values included as the only
covariate. Age, gender, body mass index (BMI), LBP
duration and work status were evaluated as possible
confounders, but did not need to be included in the
final models. Bootstrapped standard errors were esti-
mated to adjust for departures from normality, as
some outcome measures displayed slightly skewed dis-
tributions. Models were examined to confirm the
absence of influential outlying observations. Statistical
significance was set at p=0.05.
Analysis was performed on an ‘available case’ basis.
Two subjects (one CB-CFT and one MT-EX) were
missing data at 3-month follow-up but provided
K. Vibe Fersum et al. Classification-based cognitive functional therapy
5Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
12-month data, and five subjects (two CB-CFT and
three MT-EX) were missing 12-month follow-up data
but provided 3-month data. These cases were included
in the model, as the linear mixed model used is a
likelihood-based estimation procedure resulting in
non-biased estimates, provided data are missing at
random. Statistically significant group differences in
sick-leave days, patient satisfaction and number of
treatments sought post-intervention were assessed
using two-sample Wilcoxon rank sum (Mann–
Whitney) test. In the case of sick-leave days, the origi-
nal variable from Ørebro Screening Questionnaire
collapsed down for tabular display but analysed using
original 10-category variable, i.e., 0, 1–2, 3–7, . . . ,
etc., days.
In addition, change in pre- to post-treatment was
estimated in both treatment groups using paired
t-tests, and the change in ODI and PINRS were calcu-
lated for each study participant, in terms of absolute
change from baseline, and tabulated with reference to
consensus values for minimally important change
(MIC) in these outcomes.
All authors had full access to the data in the study
and the corresponding author had final responsibility
to submit for publication. An independent person,
unfamiliar with the aim, groups and content of the
study, entered data into a database. Statistical analysis
was performed using Stata/IC 10.1 for Windows
(StataCorp LP, College Station, TX, USA). A secondary
independent statistician blinded to the treatment
group allocation and unfamiliar with the aim, groups
and content of the study also reviewed the statistical
analysis.
3. Results
Out of the 169 patients initially enrolled, 121 patients
met the inclusion criteria and were found eligible. In
the randomized cohort, 62 patients were assigned to
the CB-CFT group, and 59 were assigned to the MT-EX
group (Fig. 1). A total of 16 of 59 (27.1%) patients
assigned to MT-EX and 11 of 62 (17.7%) patients
assigned to CB-CFT either did not start treatment or
did not complete treatment, and were unavailable for
either 3- or 12-month follow-up assessment, which
precluded an intention-to-treat analysis. Table 1 dis-
plays the baseline characteristics of these patients, by
treatment allocation.
Analysed study participants in the two treatment
arms were comparable in terms of baseline character-
istics, with the exception of small but significant dif-
ferences in HSCL and FABQ work (Table 1).
Both groups significantly improved with the
respective therapeutic interventions. After adjust-
ment for baseline scores, the CB-CFT group displayed
superior outcomes supported by both statistically and
clinically significant differences when compared with
the MT-EX group. This was evident both immediately
after and at 12-month post-intervention for both
primary and secondary outcomes (Table 2). This was
Assessed for eligibility (n=169)
Excluded (n=48)
•Not meeting inclusion criteria (n=46)
•Declined to participate (n=2)
Randomized (n=121)
Allocated to MT-EX intervention (
n
=59) Allocated to CB-CFT intervention (n=62)
Did not receive allocated intervention (n=8)
•Never started treatment
Discontinued intervention (n=8)
•Withdrawal without reason (n=3)
•Moved away (n=1)
•Neck fracture (n=1)
•Referred for back operation (n=1)
•Diagnosed with psoreatic arthritis
(n=1)
•Diagnosed with diabetes (n=1)
Did not receive allocated intervention (n=1)
•Never started treatment
Discontinued intervention (n=10)
•Withdrawal without reason (n=3)
•Time constraints (n=1)
•Moved away (n=1)
•Felt better – discontinued (n=1)
•Acute disc herniation (n=2)
•Modic changes diagnosis (n=1)
•Pregnancy (n=1)
Analysed (n=43)
Excluded from analysis (n=16)
•Never started treatment (as above) (n=8)
•Discontinued intervention (as above) (n=8)
Analysed (n=51)
Excluded from analysis (n=11)
•Never started treatment (as above) (n=1)
•Discontinued intervention (as above) (n=10)
Figure 1 Flow chart depicting participant
recruitment and final enrolment for the two
groups: manual therapy and exercise (MT-EX)
and classification-based cognitive functional
therapy (CB-CFT).
Classification-based cognitive functional therapy K. Vibe Fersum et al.
6Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
demonstrated by the degree of improvement in the
CB-CFT group for ODI score being 13.7 points [95%
confidence interval (CI): 11.4–16.1; p<0.001] and for
PINRS scores 3.2 (95% CI: 2.5–3.9; p<0.001). In the
MT-EX group, the mean improvement for ODI score
was 5.5 points (95% CI: 2.8–8.3; p<0.001) and 1.5 for
PINRS (95% CI: 0.7–2.2; p<0.001). The improve-
ments for all secondary outcomes showed similar
effects, with the CB-CFT group demonstrating signifi-
cantly greater change when compared with the
MT-EX group across all outcomes, except for total
lumbar range of motion (Table 2).
Table 3 presents the improvements in primary
outcome measures in terms of absolute improvement
from baseline. There was maintenance of treatment
effect over the 3- to 12-month follow-up time for both
groups, with no significant main effect for time or
group/time interaction identified in the linear mixed
models.
4. Discussion
This study reveals that the CB-CFT group demonstrated
superior outcomes compared with the MT-EX group
across every domain measured at post-intervention
and at 12-month follow-up (Table 2). Both groups
showed significant improvement in short- and long-
term follow-ups; however, the CB-CFT group was
superior based on clinically meaningful changes as
defined by MIC, defined as >10-point change in ODI
and >1.5 on PINRS (Ostelo et al., 2008).
Table 1 Baseline characteristics of study participants.
Analysed (n=94)
Excluded from analysis (n=27)
(did not start or discontinued treatment)
MT-EX (n=43) CB-CFT (n=51) MT-EX (n=16) CB-CFT (n=11)
Characteristics
Age – mean (SD) 42.9 (12.5) 41.0 (10.3) 39.9 (13.8) 37.0 (10.5)
Female – n(%) 21 (48.8) 27 (52.9) 10 (62.5) 5 (45.5)
LBP duration – n(%)a
3–12 months 6 (14.3) 6 (11.8) 0 0
1–5 years 13 (31.0) 14 (27.5) 4 (30.8) 1 (12.5)
>5 years 23 (54.8) 31 (60.8) 9 (69.2) 7 (87.5)
Height (cm) (SD) 173.5 (8.6) 174.3 (9.4) 171.8 (10.1) 177.4 (7.9)
Weight (SD) 76.2 (13.1) 78.3 (16.6) 76.9 (16.5) 85.4 (11.9)
BMI (SD) 25.2 (3.5) 25.6 (4.0) 25.9 (4.3) 27.1 (3.1)
Work status
Paid work n(%) 34 (79.1) 45 (88.2) 15 (93.8) 11 (100.0)
Primary outcomes – mean (SD)
Oswestry Disability Index 24.0 (8.0) 21.3 (7.5) 27.9 (7.6) 23.1 (8.1)
Pain intensity last week 5.3 (1.9) 4.9 (2.0) 6.2 (1.2) 6.0 (1.9)
Secondary outcomes – mean (SD)
Hopkins Symptoms Checklist 1.57 (0.39) 1.40 (0.33) 1.78 (0.53) 1.60 (0.42)
Fear-avoidance physical 11.8 (5.0) 11.1 (3.9) 12.6 (4.6) 10.9 (5.3)
Fear-avoidance work 19.3 (11.1) 14.1 (9.6) 17.8 (8.2) 13.5 8.7
Sick-leave days – n(%)
None 13 (30.2) 15 (29.4) 2 (12.5) 3 (27.3)
1–7 days 9 (20.9) 13 (25.5) 4 (25.0) 2 (18.2)
>7 days 21 (48.9) 23 (45.1) 10 (62.5) 6 (54.5)
Lumbar ROM – mean (SD) 46.2 (13.0) 50.2 (14.9) 44.3 (13.6) 57.6 (9.8)
Disability: Oswestry Disability Index (0–100), low scores indicate low disability.
Pain: intensity last week (pain intensity numerical rating scale 0–10), low scores indicate low pain intensity.
Anxiety/depression: Hopkins Symptoms Checklist – 25-item checklist – low scores indicate low anxiety and depression.
Fear of movement/(re) injury: The Fear-Avoidance Beliefs – Physical (0–24), low scores indicate low fear related to physical activities.
Fear of movement/(re) injury: The Fear-Avoidance Beliefs – Work (0–42), low scores indicate low fear related to work activities.
Range of motion: Lumbar motion was obtained from a subtraction of the pelvic motion from the grossmotion expressed in angular degrees of flexion and
extension.
BMI, body mass index; CB-CFT, classification-based cognitive functional therapy; LBP, low back pain; MT-EX, manual therapy and exercise; ROM, range of
motion; SD, standard deviation.
aMissing four cases from MT-EX and three from CB-CFT group.
K. Vibe Fersum et al. Classification-based cognitive functional therapy
7Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
Table 2 Outcomes (unadjusted means and SDs).
MT-EX CB-CFT CB-CFT vs MT-EXa
Mean SD Mean SD Mean difference (95 % CI)
Primary outcome variables
Oswestry Disability Index Questionnaire
Baseline 24.0 8.0 21.3 7.5
3 months 18.5 8.1 7.6 6.7 -9.7 (-12.7 to -6.7)***
12 months 19.7 11.7 9.9 9.8 -8.2 (-12.6 to -3.8)***
Pain intensity in last week
Baseline 5.3 1.9 4.9 2.0
3 months 3.8 1.9 1.7 1.7 -2.1 (-2.7 to -1.4)***
12 months 3.8 2.1 2.3 2.0 -1.3 (-2.1 to -0.5)***
Secondary outcome variables
Hopkins Symptoms Checklist
Baseline 1.56 0.39 1.40 0.33
3 months 1.43 0.37 1.20 0.27 -0.12 (-0.19 to -0.04)**
12 months 1.51 0.47 1.22 0.32 -0.13 (-0.22 to -0.04)**
Fear-avoidance physical
Baseline 11.8 5.0 11.1 3.9
3 months 10.3 6.0 6.1 5.0 -3.6 (-5.3 to -1.9)***
12 months 10.9 5.5 5.8 5.5 -4.7 (-6.5 to -3.0)***
Fear-avoidance work
Baseline 19.1 11.1 14.1 9.6
3 months 17.4 10.8 8.3 8.4 -5.7 (-7.8 to -3.6)***
12 months 16.6 12.2 7.7 9.0 -5.6 (-8.7 to -2.5)***
Total lumbar spine range of motion
Baseline (degrees) 46.2 13.0 50.2 14.9
3 months 45.6 12.7 49.7 14.0 1.9 (-2.8 to 6.7)
Sick-leave days [n(%)]
MT-EX CB-CFT
0 1–7 >7 0 1–7 >7
Baseline 14 (31.8) 9 (20.5) 21 (47.7) 15 (29.4) 13 (25.5) 23 (45.1)
12 months 16 (40.0) 7 (17.5) 17 (42.5) 32 (65.3) 7 (14.3) 10 (20.4) z=2.95**
Patient satisfactionb[n(%)]
MT-EX CB-CFT
1 2 3 451 2345
3 months328 (68.3) 6 (14.6) 5 (12.2) 0 2 (5.9) 48 (94.1) 1 (2.0) 2 (3.9) 0 0 z=3.21**
12 months318 (46.2) 8 (20.5) 9 (23.1) 3 (7.7) 1 (2.5) 46 (95.8) 1 (2.1) 1 (2.1) 0 0 z=5.18***
Care-seeking after intervention [n(SD) ] MT-EX CB-CFT
12 months 10.6 (13.3) 2.1 (5.4) z=4.79***
Disability: Oswestry Disability Index (0–100), low scores indicate low disability.
Pain: intensity last week (pain intensity numerical rating scale 0–10), low scores indicate low pain intensity.
Anxiety/depression: Hopkins Symptoms Checklist – 25-item checklist – low scores indicate low anxiety and depression.
Fear of movement/(re) injury: The Fear-Avoidance Beliefs – Physical (0–24), low scores indicate low fear related to physical activities.
Fear of movement/(re) injury: The Fear-Avoidance Beliefs – Work (0–42), low scores indicate low fear related to work activities.
Range of motion: Lumbar motion was obtained from a subtraction of the pelvic motion from the grossmotion expressed in angular degrees of flexion and
extension.
CB-CFT, classification-based cognitive functional therapy; MT-EX, manual therapy and exercise; SD, standard deviation.
aNegative values favour CB-CFT.
bPatient satisfaction: (1–5), 1 = completely satisfied,2=alittle bit satisfied, 3 = neither satisfied or dissatisfied,4=alittle bit dissatisfied, 5 = completely
dissatisfied.
**p<0.01.
***p<0.001.
Classification-based cognitive functional therapy K. Vibe Fersum et al.
8Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
The effect sizes of conservative interventions
from previous Cochrane reviews reveal findings
similar to the MT-EX group (Assendelft et al., 2004).
In response, calls have been made for a paradigm shift,
away from a biomedical ‘injury’ model, to viewing
LBP as a multifactorial biopsychosocial disorder, and
directing treatment at beliefs and behaviours that
promote pain and disability rather than simply at the
signs and symptoms associated with the disorder. Calls
have also been made for the need for a multidimen-
sional classification-based approach to direct manage-
ment of NSCLBP in order to make treatment more
person-centred (Borkan et al., 2002; O’Sullivan,
2011). This is supported by reports that disability
levels in chronic pain are better predicted by cognitive
and behavioural aspects of pain rather than sensory
and biomedical ones (Campell and Edwards, 2009).
CB-CFT addresses all of these objectives.
Although satisfaction rates were high in both groups,
odds of being completely satisfied were over three
times higher in the CB-CFT group at 3 months and five
times higher at 12 months. The degree of patient satis-
faction is seen as a reflection of the quality of care and
as an important outcome in its own right (May, 2001).
The importance of communication, patient-centred
approaches and goal matching has been well docu-
mented in the literature as important for the therapeu-
tic relationship, enhancing compliance and patient
outcomes (Linton, 2005; O’Sullivan, 2011).
CB-CFT had a strong cognitive focus with an
emphasis on reframing the persons’ understanding of
their back pain in a person-centred manner, with an
emphasis on changing maladaptive movement, cogni-
tive and lifestyle behaviours contributing to their
vicious cycle of pain. This was performed by means of
reflective communication, providing a contemporary
understanding of pain mechanisms, correcting faulty
pathoanatomical beliefs, goal setting, verbal, written
and visual feedback (viewing their own back) and a
strong emphasis on normalizing movement behav-
iours within a graded functional approach.
Although this is the first RCT to address maladaptive
movement behaviours specific to the patient’s presen-
tation within a cognitive framework, the exact ben-
efits from targeting specific movement training cannot
be isolated from the other aspects of the intervention.
The behaviours that were targeted were prioritized
based on the movements or postures that patients
reported that they most feared, avoided and/or that
provoked them. These identified movements were the
targets for the movement retraining aspect of the
intervention based on the patient’s classification and
were integrated to the goals of the patient. The use of
visual feedback such as mirrors was central to this
process. The aim of this approach was for each subject
to acquire self-management strategies for their disor-
der by developing positive back pain beliefs, pain
control, developing adaptive strategies of movement
that enhanced functional capacity and the ability to
engage in regular physical activity.
These findings are supported by previous reports
of benefits with different targeted behavioural
approaches to managing NSCLBP. Moseley et al.
(2004) reported reduced pain and enhanced function
associated with pain education. Asenlof et al. (2009)
reported superior long-term outcomes for treating
NSCLBP with an individually tailored behavioural
intervention targeting cognitions, motor behaviour
and activity, compared with physical therapy. The use
of visual feedback when training movement in
patients with LBP has also been shown to reduce pain
and influence functional capacity (Sheeran et al.,
2012; Wand et al., 2012). Hill et al. (2011) reported
superior outcomes when management was targeted
on the basis of psychosocial risk factors. Vlaeyen et al.
(2002) reported benefits with a graded exposure
approach to management in a series of NSCLBP
patients with high levels of fear. CB-CFT incorporates
all of these aspects within its intervention.
Given the multidimensional nature of the CB-CFT
intervention, it is not clear as to the exact basis for
the superior outcomes. We hypothesize that the
Table 3 Immediate and long-term improvements in primary outcome
measures from baseline [n(%)].
3 months 12 months
MT-EX CB-CFT MT-EX CB-CFT
n%n%n%n%
Oswestry
No change 14 33.3 2 4.0 12 30.8 5 10.2
<10 points 14 33.3 12 24.0 15 38.5 13 26.5
10–19 points 12 28.6 23 46.0 9 23.1 24 49.0
20–29 points 1 2.4 11 22.0 2 5.1 5 10.2
30 or more points 1 2.4 2 4.0 1 2.5 2 4.1
Pain (PINRS)
0 15 35.7 6 12.0 12 30.8 10 20.4
1 point 8 19.1 6 12.0 11 28.2 3 6.1
2 points 7 16.7 9 18.0 7 17.9 14 28.6
3 points 4 9.5 8 16.0 4 10.3 7 14.3
4–5 points 4 9.5 13 26.0 3 7.7 7 14.3
>6 points 4 9.5 8 16.0 2 5.1 8 16.3
Minimally important change: Clinically meaningful changes are defined as
>10-point change in Oswestry Disability Index and >1.5 on PINRS (Ostelo
et al., 2008). CB-CFT, classification-based cognitive functional therapy;
MT-EX, manual therapy and exercise; PINRS, pain intensity numerical
rating scale.
K. Vibe Fersum et al. Classification-based cognitive functional therapy
9Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
mechanisms for change are likely to be multifactorial
given the patient-centred body–mind behavioural
approach, in contrast to a more treatment-orientated
signs and symptoms approach in manual therapy. On
one hand, this behavioural approach may have
impacted on cognitive factors known to affect pain
sensitivity and disability such as developing positive
beliefs, reduced fear, increased awareness, enhanced
understanding and control of pain, adaptive coping,
enhanced self-efficacy, confidence and improved
mood. Evidence for this is supported by the reduction
in fear of movement and improved mood observed
following the intervention. On the other hand, the
functional behavioural aspects of the intervention
were targeted at enhancing body awareness, relax-
ation of guarded muscles, normalizing maladaptive
movement patterns, body schema retraining with the
use of mirror feedback, extinguishing pain behav-
iours, conditioning and increased functional capacity.
These factors have been associated with levels of
pain, disability, fear and catastrophizing (Wideman
et al., 2009; Lewis et al., 2012; Wand et al., 2012).
We also acknowledge that the active engagement
required of subjects for this behavioural approach
may present a barrier for those unwilling to self-
manage their disorder (Carr et al., 2006). This may be
dependent on the levels of acceptance and readiness
to engage in behavioural change, although these
factors were not formally assessed.
Although it was not a primary aim of the CB-CFT
intervention, the results demonstrate a 2.95-times less
likelihood of taking sick leave for their LBP at 12
months compared with the MT-EX group. Previously,
only studies using cognitive behavioural therapy in
multidisciplinary treatment models have shown an
effect on sick-listing for this patient group (Airaksinen
et al., 2006). However, as these numbers were
extracted from the OMPQ and were self-reported,
these findings must be interpreted with some caution.
The patients in the CB-CFT group also sought less
additional treatment for their pain, implying they may
have been more empowered to self-manage their dis-
order, suggesting significant cost–benefits.
A limitation of this study was the number of
patients that either did not start or complete treat-
ment. While there was a comparable proportion of
non-completers in each group (Table 2), 8 of 59
(13.5%) of the MT-EX group failed to commence their
allocated treatment, compared with only 1 of 62
(1.6%) of the CB-CFT group. This may be due to the
fact that seven of these subjects had reported previous
manual therapy treatment with poor effect, which
would have potentially biased for a poorer outcome in
the MT-EX group. It should be noted that there was no
statistically significant difference between completers
and non-completer based on baseline characteristics,
and as we performed our analysis conditioning on
baseline scores and confirmed the absence of a con-
founding effect of age, gender, BMI, LBP duration and
work status on our results, we are confident that our
estimates of treatment effect are not substantially
biased by these missing cases. Also of note, no drop-
outs reported adverse effects from either intervention
arm. Furthermore, due to a lack of power, we were
unable to determine the influence of the subject
classification on the outcome.
We acknowledge that there are also a number of
additional methodological considerations that may
have influenced the results of this study. Firstly, the
patients were recruited from a variety of sources both
primary and secondary care levels, as well as newspa-
per advertising, which could have influenced the kind
of patients who entered the study. However, the wide
inclusion criteria in the study suggest that a common
and representative group of patients with chronic
localized LBP without objective sign of pathology to
the spine were included. Webb et al. (2003) reported
that an Oswestry score of >25% is considered the
cut-off score for classifying ‘disabling back pain’. The
patients recruited were, on average, just below this
[24.0 (MT-EX) and 21.3 (CB-CFT)] at baseline, and
hence it can be said that the patients sampled in this
study had moderate back pain and functional impair-
ment sufficient to result in activity limitation and sick
leave for many (see Table 1). It is also acknowledged
that therapists in both arms of the study were not
blinded to the intervention, and although all thera-
pists had considerable experience, the influence of
therapist enthusiasm and expectation for change was
not controlled for.
Furthermore, the multidimensional nature of the
study limits any conclusion as to the specific effects of
the different components of the intervention. Future
research that investigates matching versus non-
matching of interventions for patients with chronic
mechanical LBP may help identify the effects of spe-
cific aspects of the intervention (Kent et al., 2010).
Also given this was a pragmatic trial, the intervention
dose was not controlled in either group, although both
groups received remarkably similar attention. While
this intervention appears to be successful for the popu-
lation we tested, further studies are needed to inves-
tigate those with higher levels of pain and disability,
patients that are long-term sick-listed as well as in
other cultural and occupational groups, in order to
determine the generalizability of the findings. This
Classification-based cognitive functional therapy K. Vibe Fersum et al.
10 Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
approach also needs to be compared with other cog-
nitive approaches and tested within a multi-centre
trial framework in the future.
4.1 Conclusions
The results of this study support that a behaviourally
orientated targeted approach to manage NSCLBP
(CB-CFT) was more effective at reducing pain, disabil-
ity, fear beliefs, mood and sick leave at long-term
follow-up than MT-EX.
Acknowledgements
Research fellow Fersum was supported by the Norwegian
Fund for Post-Graduate Training in Physiotherapy.
Many thanks to the treating therapist in both treatment
arms AB, RH, NE, EØ and LGL.
Author contributions
K.V.F., P.O., J.S.S. and A.K. were all involved in the planning
of the RCT, preparing protocols, ethical approval and decid-
ing the interventions utilized. A.S. was involved in the sta-
tistical methods used in the manuscript. K.V.F., P.O., J.S.S,
A.S. and A.K. were all involved in the writing and editing the
manuscript. All authors discussed the results and com-
mented on the manuscript.
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Supporting Information
Additional Supporting Information may be found in the
online version of this article:
Appendix S1. Displays an overview of the multidimen-
sional classification system. This system is guided by a clinical
reasoning process that considers the presence and domi-
nance of different factors, allowing for patient-centred tar-
geted intervention.
Appendix S2. Displays an overview of the randomized
subjects (n=121) and how they spread out in the different
categories.
Appendix S3. Schematic overview of the four different
components of the CB-CFT treatment.
K. Vibe Fersum et al. Classification-based cognitive functional therapy
13Eur J Pain •• (2012) ••–•• © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters

Supplementary resources

  • ... CFT is an example of a BPS method that challenges more traditional biomechanical/pathoanatomical physiotherapy approaches. It is an integrated physiotherapist-led cognitive and behavioral intervention for individualizing the self-management of persistent LBP, once serious and specific pathology has been excluded and has shown promising results Vibe Fersum et al., 2013). It uses a BPS clinical reasoning framework to explore, identify and manage cognitive, emotional, social, physical and lifestyle barriers to recovery Synnott et al., 2016). ...
    ... It uses a BPS clinical reasoning framework to explore, identify and manage cognitive, emotional, social, physical and lifestyle barriers to recovery Synnott et al., 2016). CFT training aims to equip physiotherapists with these skills through a combination of written resources, training workshops that include practical experimentation, and demonstrations with live patients, as well as direct clinical supervision and feedback Vibe Fersum et al., 2013). All three qualitative studies (Cowell et al., 2018;O'Sullivan, O'Sullivan, O'Sullivan, and Dankaerts, 2013;Synnott et al., 2016) found that after CFT training, physiotherapists reported feeling more confident in their capacity and skills to manage the BPS dimensions of nonspecific persistent LBP. ...
    ... To gain further knowledge of this process, a qualitative study was conducted in parallel with a feasibility study exploring the implementation of the CFT approach in Finnish primary health care. To date, the training of physiotherapists to deliver CFT in clinical trials has been intensive and has included direct supervision and feedback (Synnott et al., 2016;Vibe Fersum et al., 2013), which may be a barrier to broad implementation across the profession. It is not known whether less intensive approaches are effective in training physiotherapists in CFT in a non-native English-speaking country. ...
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    Background: Recent low back pain guidelines recommend a BPS approach to the management of disabling low back pain. However, the most effective way of teaching physiotherapists to implement these approaches remains unknown. The present qualitative study aimed to explore physiotherapists’ conceptions of learning and integrating Cognitive Functional Therapy (CFT) into clinical practice in Finnish primary health care. Methods: We interviewed 22 physiotherapists, who participated in four to six days of CFT workshops. A phenomenographic approach was used to explore the variation in the physiotherapists’ conceptions of this process. Results: Four themes emerged from the data: 1) membership of work community; 2) learning journey; 3) transition to new working methods; and 4) professional role as a physiotherapist. These themes varied in four categories of description: recognizing difference of the new approach, toward integrating the new approach, waking up to explore, commitment to new approach and expanding application of new approach. The critical aspects between the categories that enabled the integration of CFT into clinical practice were ability to overcome resistance and to change views, being shaken and ability to critically reflect on one’s work, support from the work community and becoming convinced, creativity, multidisciplinary collaboration and continuous learning. Conclusion: The participants’ responses to the training varied greatly, suggesting that for some, the training was insufficient to support adequate changes in their practice behavior; whereas for others, the training was a life changing experience.
  • ... There is clinical trial evidence to support the effectiveness of CFT for improving clinical outcomes in individuals with CLBP (O'Keeffe et al., 2019;Vibe Fersum, O'Sullivan, Skouen, Smith, & Kvåle, 2013;Vibe Fersum, Smith, Kvåle, Skouen, & O'Sullivan, 2019). The first randomized clinical trial (RCT; Vibe Fersum et al., 2013Fersum et al., , 2019 demonstrated superior effects for CFT on pain and disability over physiotherapist-led manual therapy and exercise in individuals with CLBP at 3 and 12 months, and on disability but no pain at 36 months follow-up. ...
    ... There is clinical trial evidence to support the effectiveness of CFT for improving clinical outcomes in individuals with CLBP (O'Keeffe et al., 2019;Vibe Fersum, O'Sullivan, Skouen, Smith, & Kvåle, 2013;Vibe Fersum, Smith, Kvåle, Skouen, & O'Sullivan, 2019). The first randomized clinical trial (RCT; Vibe Fersum et al., 2013Fersum et al., , 2019 demonstrated superior effects for CFT on pain and disability over physiotherapist-led manual therapy and exercise in individuals with CLBP at 3 and 12 months, and on disability but no pain at 36 months follow-up. The second RCT (O'Keeffe et al., 2019) demonstrated a superior effect for CFT on disability compared to a group exercise and education intervention at 6 and 12 months follow-up, but did not show a superior effect on pain at any of these time points. ...
    ... In this RCT (O'Keeffe et al., 2019) an average of five sessions were provided to patients with CLBP. In contrast, the first trial (Vibe Fersum et al., 2013) examining the effect of CFT (relative to a manual therapy and exercise intervention) observed changes in fear after an average of eight sessions. Improving some factors (e.g. ...
    Article
    Background: Cognitive Functional Therapy (CFT) is a physiotherapist-led individualized intervention for people with people with non-specific chronic low back pain (CLBP), involving biopsychosocial pain education, graded movement exposure and lifestyle coaching. Methods: A multicentre randomized controlled trial (RCT), including 206 participants with CLBP in Ireland, supported CFT's effectiveness for reducing disability, but not pain, compared to a group exercise and education intervention. In this study, causal mediation analysis was used to determine whether the effect of CFT on disability and the lack of effect on pain (relative to a group exercise and education intervention) is mediated by certain psychological and lifestyle factors. Hypothesized mediators measured were pain self-efficacy, stress, fear of physical activity, coping, depression, anxiety and sleep, at 6 months. The outcomes measured were functional disability and pain intensity at 12 months. Results: This causal mediation study shows that the majority of benefit of CFT (relative to a group exercise and education intervention) for disability is due to increasing pain self-efficacy. Conclusion: Conclusion: CFT did not improve the majority of the hypothesized mediators (stress, fear of physical activity, coping, depression, anxiety and sleep) and these mediators were not associated with either disability or pain. Unfortunately, the proportion of missing data in this study is substantial and these findings can only be considered hypothesis-generating. Therefore, future research should examine replicating the results of this study to verify the role of self-efficacy and other proposed mediators (e.g. stress, coping, sleep, fear) on clinical outcomes. Significance: An exploration of seven potential mediators was undertaken to determine the effect of Cognitive Functional Therapy (CFT) on disability and pain intensity in individuals with chronic low back pain compared to a group exercise and education intervention. CFT improved pain self-efficacy, which was associated with disability and pain outcomes. CFT did not improve the other six potential mediators (stress, fear of physical activity, coping, depression, anxiety and sleep) and these were not associated with disability or pain. The proportion of missing data in this study is substantial and these findings should be considered hypothesis-generating only.
  • ... Persistent musculoskeletal pain has been associated with a range of biopsychosocial factors including, psychological, cognitive, lifestyle and social factors (Ali adehkhaiyat et al., 2007;Kelly et al., 2011;Feldman et al., 2015). These factors might act as barriers to recovery and may need to be considered as part of complex interventions to achieve the best outcomes for patients with persistent musculoskeletal pain ( ibe Fersum et al., 2013;Lin et al., 201 ). ...
    ... This is common to many conditions of musculoskeletal pain (Darlow et al., 2013;Cuff and Littlewood, 2017). There is some evidence that patients who are unable to make sense of their symptoms, or who are given patho-anatomical labels to explain their pain, are more likely to interpret their symptoms as a sign of damage (van ilgen et al., 200 ;Cuff and Littlewood, 2017). This is commonly associated with avoidant behaviours, low self-efficacy and poor outcomes for a variety of musculoskeletal pain conditions (Asghari and Nicholas, 2001;Bun li et al., 2015;Chester et al., 201 ). ...
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    Background Greater Trochanteric Pain syndrome (GTPS) is a condition causing lateral hip pain, which can be both persistent and debilitating. Data suggests that NHS patients with GTPS often have complex presentations with greater risk of developing persistent pain. No research to date has looked to understand the lived experience of patients with GTPS. Objectives This data may help inform a programme of intervention development for testing in a future randomised controlled trial. Hence, this qualitative study aimed to provide insight into the experiences and perceptions of patients suffering with GTPS. Design Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. Methods Ten patients diagnosed with GTPS in consultant-led clinic at one NHS Hospital. Patients were identified from the physiotherapy waiting list and approached via a postal letter. Once informed consent was gained, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the Framework Method. Results Data were analysed with reference to five pre-determined themes (1) living with persistent pain; (2) understanding the problem and pain; (3) experiences of previous treatment; (4) beliefs about activity and exercise; (5) the future. Conclusion The participants with GTPS, interviewed in this study commonly suffered from debilitating pain, affecting them during activity and at rest. They were confused about the diagnoses they were given and the meaning of their pain in relation to activity. Furthermore, participants were often either uncertain or pessimistic about their potential to recover. Clinical trials registry ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03720587.
  • ... Subjects used verbal and mirror feedback to improve awareness of the body. 16 In this research, to improve the conscious control, during the training period, the person received the verbalauditory and motion feedback for a rest and correct training situation. At this stage, the participants simultaneously perform exercises to see their movements by the mirror. ...
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  • ... Shin et al. [49] advocate the assessment and optimization of mental health in individuals with sub-optimal outcomes following surgery for FAI. Studies in patients with knee arthritis [50] and chronic back pain [51] have shown promising results with behavioural interventions. Pre-operative identification of patients with mental health disorders should allow for them to be addressed prior to undertaking surgery in an attempt to optimize functional gain after surgery [52]. ...
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