Intensive group training protocol versus guideline physiotherapy for patients with chronic low back pain: a randomised controlled trial.


van der Roer N, van Tulder M, Barendse J, Knol D, van Mechelen W, de Vet H

The objective of the study was to compare the effects of an intensive group training protocol aimed at returning to normal daily activities and guideline physiotherapy for primary care patients with non-specific chronic low back pain. In the intensive group training protocol exercise therapy, back school and operant-conditioning behavioural principles are combined. Patients were treated during 10 individual sessions along 20 group sessions. Usual care consisted of physiotherapy according to the Dutch guidelines for Low Back Pain.  Multilevel analysis did not show significant differences between both treatment groups on any outcome measures during the complete follow-up period, with one exception. After 26 weeks the protocol group showed more reduction in pain intensity than the guideline group, but this difference was absent after 52 weeks.

The results show that an intensive group training protocol was not more effective than usual physiotherapy for chronic low back pain.

European Spine Journal, 2008 Jul 29, online article ahead of print

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