PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?
Response: The main findings from this study were that compared with physiotherapy care by itself (mainly referring to structured exercise), psychological interventions are most effective for people with chronic non-specific low back pain when they are delivered in conjunction with physiotherapy care. Specifically, adding pain education or behavioural therapy to physiotherapy care leads to the greatest and most sustainable health benefits, which can last up to 6 to 12 months after treatment ends.
PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Treatments for chronic low back pain should addressed both physical health and the mind. To optimise improvement in health outcomes, clinicians should consider strategies to promote early and cohesive co-delivery of structured exercise with psychological strategies or interventions, for people with chronic low back pain.
PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Higher quality clinical trials, with large sample sizes and longer follow-up periods (greater than 12 months after the end of treatment), are needed. Particularly, this includes trials of interventions based on behavioural therapy, mindfulness, or counselling, for people with chronic non-specific low back pain. Further, greater consistency in the assessment and reporting of data for health-related quality of life and safety, in future clinical trials, is necessary.
Ho EK-Y, Chen L, Simic M, Ashton-James CE, Comachio J, Wang DXM, Hayden JA, Ferreira ML, Ferreira PH. Psychological interventions for chronic non-specific low back pain: systematic review with network meta-analysis. BMJ 2022;376:e067718. doi: 10.1136/bmj-2021-067718.
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