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The back home trial: general practitioner-supported leaflets may change back pain behavior

The back home trial: general practitioner-supported leaflets may change back pain behavior
The back home trial: general practitioner-supported leaflets may change back pain behavior
Study Design: a single-blind randomized controlled trial of a leaflet developed for people with acute low back pain was compared with the usual general practitioner management of back pain.

Objective: to test the effectiveness of a patient information leaflet on knowledge, attitude, behavior, and function.

Summary of Background Data: despite the commonality of back pain in general practice, little evidence on the effectiveness of simple interventions such as leaflets and advice on self-management has been reported. On the basis of a five-stage needs analysis, a simple leaflet was developed that considered the views of patients and health professionals.

Methods: for this study, 64 patients with acute back pain were assigned to the leaflet or control group. The participants were visited at home after 2 days, 2 weeks, then 3, 6, and 12 months, where they completed a range of self-report measures. Behavioral aspects were discreetly recorded by a "blinded" researcher. Primary outcomes were knowledge, attitude, behavior, and function.

Results: in all, 272 home visits were undertaken. The findings show that at 2 weeks, knowledge about sitting posture was greater in the leaflet group (P = 0.006), which transferred to a behavioral difference (sitting with lumbar lordosis support) when participants were unaware that they were being observed (P = 0.009). This difference remained significant at 3 months. Patients in the leaflet group also were better at maintaining a wide base of support when lifting a light object than the control subjects throughout all five assessments. There were no significant differences in the functional outcomes tested.

Conclusions: this trial demonstrates that written advice for patients can be a contributory factor in the initial general practitioner consultation because it may change aspects of knowledge and behavior. This has implications for the management of acute back pain, with potential health gain.

0362-2436
1821-1828
Roberts, Lisa
0a937943-5246-4877-bd6b-4dcd172b5cd0
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Chapman, Judith
0859875d-96c7-4015-b830-6f7f9783fb16
Cantrell, Ted
0c457b2d-337e-4c67-b299-65afb306ab57
Pickering, Ruth
4a828314-7ddf-4f96-abed-3407017d4c90
Langridge, John
0047cb1c-cf4f-4c26-b094-0299015bcea5
Roberts, Lisa
0a937943-5246-4877-bd6b-4dcd172b5cd0
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Chapman, Judith
0859875d-96c7-4015-b830-6f7f9783fb16
Cantrell, Ted
0c457b2d-337e-4c67-b299-65afb306ab57
Pickering, Ruth
4a828314-7ddf-4f96-abed-3407017d4c90
Langridge, John
0047cb1c-cf4f-4c26-b094-0299015bcea5

Roberts, Lisa, Little, Paul, Chapman, Judith, Cantrell, Ted, Pickering, Ruth and Langridge, John (2002) The back home trial: general practitioner-supported leaflets may change back pain behavior. Spine, 27 (17), 1821-1828. (doi:10.1097/00007632-200209010-00002).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Study Design: a single-blind randomized controlled trial of a leaflet developed for people with acute low back pain was compared with the usual general practitioner management of back pain.

Objective: to test the effectiveness of a patient information leaflet on knowledge, attitude, behavior, and function.

Summary of Background Data: despite the commonality of back pain in general practice, little evidence on the effectiveness of simple interventions such as leaflets and advice on self-management has been reported. On the basis of a five-stage needs analysis, a simple leaflet was developed that considered the views of patients and health professionals.

Methods: for this study, 64 patients with acute back pain were assigned to the leaflet or control group. The participants were visited at home after 2 days, 2 weeks, then 3, 6, and 12 months, where they completed a range of self-report measures. Behavioral aspects were discreetly recorded by a "blinded" researcher. Primary outcomes were knowledge, attitude, behavior, and function.

Results: in all, 272 home visits were undertaken. The findings show that at 2 weeks, knowledge about sitting posture was greater in the leaflet group (P = 0.006), which transferred to a behavioral difference (sitting with lumbar lordosis support) when participants were unaware that they were being observed (P = 0.009). This difference remained significant at 3 months. Patients in the leaflet group also were better at maintaining a wide base of support when lifting a light object than the control subjects throughout all five assessments. There were no significant differences in the functional outcomes tested.

Conclusions: this trial demonstrates that written advice for patients can be a contributory factor in the initial general practitioner consultation because it may change aspects of knowledge and behavior. This has implications for the management of acute back pain, with potential health gain.

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Published date: 1 September 2002

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 24483
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24483
ISSN: 0362-2436
PURE UUID: 4a4495b1-64b0-4240-bddb-e5f352bdd12d
ORCID for Lisa Roberts: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2662-6696

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Date deposited: 30 Mar 2006
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 02:52

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Contributors

Author: Lisa Roberts ORCID iD
Author: Paul Little
Author: Judith Chapman
Author: Ted Cantrell
Author: Ruth Pickering
Author: John Langridge

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