Work-focused rehabilitation intervention was found to have the same effect on patients’ pain and disability scores when compared with controlled interventions, according to researchers.
Four hundred thirteen employed patients with back or neck pain who were referred to secondary care and sick-listed between 4 weeks and 12 month were included in the study. The patients were randomly assigned to either a work-focused rehabilitation intervention cohort or a controlled intervention cohort. Follow-up was performed at 4 months and 12 months after inclusion, and Oswestry disability index/neck disability index and pain numeric rating scale were compared between the two groups from baseline to the 12-month follow-up.
The researchers found both pain and disability scores decreased similarly between the two cohorts. A decrease in fear-avoidance beliefs (FABQ) work score at 4 months led to a quicker return to work within 12 months. Additionally, a decrease in FABQ physical activity score at 4 months was associated with decreased disability scores at 12 months, according to the researchers.
The researchers concluded work-focused rehab intervention had the same effect on neck and back pain as controlled interventions, and that FABQ work scores at 4 months were an important factor in predicting patients’ return to work. – by Robert Linnehan
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.