Lumbar supports to prevent recurrent low back pain among home care workers: A randomized trial

Roelofs, Pepijn D. D. M., Bierma-Zeinstra, Sita M. A., van Poppel, Mireille N. M., Jellema, Petra, Willemsen, Sten P., van Tulder, Maurits W., van Mechelen, Willem and Koes, Bart W. (2007) Lumbar supports to prevent recurrent low back pain among home care workers: A randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 147 10: 685-692.

Author Roelofs, Pepijn D. D. M.
Bierma-Zeinstra, Sita M. A.
van Poppel, Mireille N. M.
Jellema, Petra
Willemsen, Sten P.
van Tulder, Maurits W.
van Mechelen, Willem
Koes, Bart W.
Title Lumbar supports to prevent recurrent low back pain among home care workers: A randomized trial
Journal name Annals of Internal Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-4819
Publication date 2007-11-20
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 147
Issue 10
Start page 685
End page 692
Total pages 8
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher American College of Physicians
Language eng
Subject 1103 Clinical Sciences
Formatted abstract
People use lumbar supports to prevent low back pain. Secondary analyses from primary preventive studies suggest benefit among workers with previous low back pain, but definitive studies on the effectiveness of supports for the secondary prevention of low back pain are lacking.

To determine the effectiveness of lumbar supports in the secondary prevention of low back pain.

Randomized, controlled trial.

Home care organization in the Netherlands.

360 home care workers with self-reported history of low back pain.

Short course on healthy working methods, with or without patient-directed use of 1 of 4 types of lumbar support.

Primary outcomes were the number of days of low back pain and sick leave over 12 months. Secondary outcomes were the average severity of low back pain and function (Quebec Back Pain Disability scale) in the previous week.

Over 12 months, participants in the lumbar support group reported an average of −52.7 days (CI, −59.6 to −45.1 days) fewer days with low back pain than participants who received only the short course. However, the total sick days in the lumbar support group did not decrease (−5 days [CI, −21.1 to 6.8 days]). Small but statistically significant differences in pain intensity and function favored lumbar support.

Study participants were unblinded, and a substantial amount of missing data required imputation. Objective data on sick days due to low back pain were not available.

Adding patient-directed use of lumbar supports to a short course on healthy working methods may reduce the number of days when low back pain occurs, but not overall work absenteeism, among home care workers with previous low back pain. Further study of lumbar supports is warranted.
Keyword Absenteeism
Home health aides
Low back pain
Lumbosacral region
Occupational diseases
Orthotic devices
Pain measurement
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Created: Thu, 01 Apr 2010, 16:03:36 EST by Jon Swabey on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences