Effect of education on non-specific neck and low back pain: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
PainSci notes on Ainpradub 2015:
This review of the evidence so far “suggests that education programs are not recommended in preventing or treating neck pain as well as treating low back pain, unless supplementary high-quality studies provide evidence to the contrary.” Which they might!
The caveat with all studies of education is that we have strong reasons to believe that reconceptualizing pain is beneficial, but whether or not education can help people do that is a very different question and problem. The right kind and quality of education may do the trick, but it’s an extremely difficult thing to test, akin to trying to prove that “inspiration” is effective for artists.
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: Neck and low back pain are significant health problems due to their high prevalence among the general population. Educational intervention commonly aims to reduce the symptoms and risk for additional problems by increasing the participant's knowledge, which in turn will alter the person's behavior. The primary aim of this study was to review randomize controlled trials (RCTs) to gain insights into the effectiveness of education for the prevention and treatment of non-specific neck and low back pain.
METHODS: Publications were systematically searched from 1982 to March 2015 in several databases. Relevant RCTs were retrieved and assessed for methodological quality. Meta-analysis was conducted to examine the effectiveness of education for the prevention and treatment of non-specific neck and low back pain. The overall quality of evidence was assessed using the GRADE system.
RESULTS: Thirty-six RCTs (30 high-quality studies) were identified. A total of 15 RCTs, which compared education programs to no education program, were included for further analysis. All studies included investigated the effectiveness of education with intermediate- and long-term follow-ups. The results showed that education programs were not effective in preventing and treating neck pain as well as treating low back pain. Conflicting evidence was found for the effectiveness of education on prevention of low back pain.
CONCLUSIONS: Evidence suggests that education programs are not recommended in preventing or treating neck pain as well as treating low back pain, unless supplementary high-quality studies provide evidence to the contrary.
- “The Pain Course: A Randomised Controlled Trial Examining an Internet-Delivered Pain Management Program when Provided with Different Levels of Clinician Support,” Dear et al, Pain, 2015.
- “A randomized controlled trial of an educational intervention to prevent the chronic pain of whiplash associated disorders following rear-end motor vehicle collisions,” Brison et al, Spine, 2005.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
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