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Back pain self management groups led by lay people increased self care confidence and reduced activity limitations at 6 months

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Question Can a back pain self management group intervention led by trained lay people increase self care confidence and reduce patient worries, activity limitations, and pain?


Randomised, single blind (outcome assessor), controlled trial with follow up at 3, 6, and 12 months.


Primary care setting in Puget Sound, Washington state, USA.


255 patients aged 25−70 years (mean age 50 y, 62% women) who were seen in a primary care setting for back pain or strain, a disc disorder, or sciatica and had been enrolled in a health maintenance organisation for ≥1 year volunteered to participate in the study. Patients who were being considered for surgery or planning to withdraw their enrolment from the health maintenance organisation were excluded. Follow up at 12 months …

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  • Sources of funding: National Institutes of Health; The Boeing Company; and The Group Health Foundation.

  • For correspondence: Michael R Von Korff, Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, 1730 Minor Avenue, Suite 1600, Seattle, WA 98101, USA. Fax +1 206 287 2871.