Author(s): Buchner M, ZahltenHinguranage A, Schiltenwolf M, Neubauer E
OBJECTIVES: This prospective longitudinal clinical study analyses the therapy outcome of 365 patients with either chronic neck (n = 134) or low back (n = 231) pain treated with a multidisciplinary biopsychosocial therapy approach.
METHODS: Patients with chronic neck pain (NP) or low back pain (LBP) for 3 months or longer, corresponding sick leave for longer than 6 weeks, and clearly defined inclusion and exclusion criteria underwent a 3-week standardized inpatient multidisciplinary biopsychosocial therapy. Baseline sociodemographic, occupational, functional, and psychological data at entry into the study (T0) were comparable in both groups. At the 6-month follow-up (T1), five different therapy outcomes were analysed in both groups: back-to-work status, generic health status (the 36-item Short Form Health Survey, SF-36), pain intensity (visual analogue scale), functional capacity (Hannover back capacity score), and satisfaction with the therapy.
RESULTS: Both treatment groups improved significantly in all outcome criteria between T0 and T1. In the total group, the back-to-work rate was 67.4%. At the final follow-up there were no significant differences between the group with chronic NP and the group with chronic LBP in the outcome criteria back-to-work status, improvement of health status and functional capacity, satisfaction with therapy, and reduction of pain.
CONCLUSION: Evaluation of the main results of this study suggests that patients with chronic NP also derive significant benefit from a multidisciplinary treatment strategy, demonstrated in the literature so far mainly for patients with chronic LBP.