Multidisciplinary intensive treatment for chronic low back pain: a randomized, prospective study
ANE F. BENDIX, MDAddress reprint requests to A.F.B., Medical Department TTA 7521, Tagensvej 20, DK-2200 Copenhagen N.
TOM BENDIX, MD, DMSc
KELD VÆGTER, MD
CHRISTINE LUND, PT
LONE FRØLUND, PhD
LILLIAN HOLM, OT
Americans with low back pain have been helped to return to work by multidisciplinary intensive treatment programs. Whether this treatment method will succeed in countries with a more generous social welfare system, where the incentive to return to work might be less, is not proven.OBJECTIVES
To evaluate a Danish program of functional restoration combined with behavioral support.METHODS
Patients who had experienced at least 6 months of disabling low back pain were randomly assigned to either a 3-week intensive treatment program (n = 55) or an untreated control group (n = 51).RESULTS
Of the 106 patients randomized, 94 (89%) returned for a 4-month follow-up visit. At that time, 29 (64%) of the 45 treated patients were able to work, compared with 14 of 49 (29%) in the control group. The treated patients had used fewer days of sick leave (P < .02), had contacted health care professionals fewer times (P < .001), and had lower pain and disability scores.CONCLUSIONS
Although such programs are expensive, they can reduce pension expenditures, sick leave days, health care contacts, and pain.