The authors conducted a controlled clinical trial with 1-year follow-up to define the effectiveness of an intensive physical and psychosocial training program on patients with low back pain.
The intervention group included 152 patients (mean age 40.5 yr, Million index 45.1/100), and the reference group included 141 patients (mean age 40.4 yr, Million index 44.5/100).
The progressive intervention program consisted of intensive physical training and psychosocial activation. The outcomes were physical and psychosocial measures, the pain and disability index (Million), sick leaves, and occupational handicap.
The intervention was more efficient with respect to physical measures and pain and disability index. There were only mild or no differences in changes between the study groups in psychology variables, sick leaves, or retirement.
The intervention program could improve physical disability, but to improve occupational handicap, activities of the whole society (social legislation, labor market policy) are needed.
*Rehabilitation Research Centre of the Social Insurance Institution, Turku, Finland
†Orthopaedic Hospital of the Invalid Foundation, Helsinki, Finland
‡Department of Health Science, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.