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Review: intensive multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation reduces pain and improves function in chronic low back pain

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QUESTION: In patients with chronic disabling low back pain, does multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation reduce pain and improve function, employment status, and quality of life?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, PsycLIT, HealthSTAR, and the Cochrane Library from database inception to June 1998; reviewing reference lists; and consulting the editors of the Back Review Group of the Cochrane Collaboration.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation with a non-multidisciplinary control intervention in adults with disabling low back pain for > 3 months. Trials had to report on ≥ 1 of pain, function, employment status, quality of life, or global improvement. Trials evaluating pure educational interventions or pure physical interventions were excluded. …

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  • Sources of funding: Finnish Office for Health Technology Assessment; Institute for Work & Health (Canada); Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

  • For correspondence: Dr J Guzmán, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Medicine, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.