Addition of Choice of Complementary Therapies to Usual Care for Acute Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Eisenberg, David M. MD; Post, Diana E. MD; Davis, Roger B. ScD; Connelly, Maureen T. MD, MPH ; Legedza, Anna T. R. ScD; Hrbek, Andrea L.; Prosser, Lisa A. PhD; Buring, Julie E. ScD, Inui, Thomas S. ScM, MD; Cherkin, Daniel C. PhD

The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and cost of usual care plus patient choice of acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage therapy (choice) compared with usual care alone in patients with acute low back pain (LBP).  A total of 444 patients with acute LBP (<21 days) were recruited from 4 clinical sites and randomized into 2 groups: usual care or choice.  The authors concluded that a model of care that offered access to a choice of complementary and alternative medicine therapies for acute LBP did not result in clinically significant improvements in symptom relief or functional restoration. This model was associated with greater patient satisfaction but increased total costs.

Spine.  32(2):151-158, January 15, 2007.

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