Walking, Education Intervention Prevents Recurrence of Low Back Pain

94 percent probability that intervention was cost-effective seen at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $28,000
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FRIDAY, June 28, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- An individualized, progressive walking and education intervention is beneficial for prevention of recurrence of low back pain, according to a study published online June 19 in The Lancet.

Natasha C. Pocovi, Ph.D., from Macquarie University in Sydney, and colleagues examined the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an individualized, progressive walking and education intervention to prevent the recurrence of low back pain in a randomized trial involving adults across Australia who had recently recovered from an episode of nonspecific low back pain. Participants were randomly assigned to an individualized intervention facilitated by six sessions with a physical therapist over six months (351 participants) or to a no-treatment control group (350 participants) and were followed for a minimum of 12 months.

The researchers found that the intervention was effective for preventing an episode of activity-limiting low back pain (hazard ratio, 0.72). The median days to a recurrence was 208 and 112 days in the intervention and control groups, respectively. The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year gained was $7,802 (Australian dollars); at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $28,000, there was a 94 percent probability that the intervention was cost-effective. The total number of participants experiencing at least one adverse event over 12 months was similar in the intervention and control groups (52 and 54 percent, respectively), but more adverse events relating to the lower extremities were seen in the intervention group (100 versus 54 events).

"By encouraging active self-management using health coaching principles, the WalkBack intervention might be able to reduce the prevalence of recurrent low back pain and associated burden on health care systems," the authors write.

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