Scand J Work Environ Health 2005;31(4):249-257    pdf | Issue date: Aug 2005

Effectiveness of a return-to-work intervention for subacute low-back pain

by Hlobil H, Staal JB, Spoelstra M, Ariëns GAM, Smid T, van Mechelen W

The effectiveness of return-to-work intervention for subacute low-back pain on work absenteeism, pain severity, and functional status was examined by means of a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Publications in English that met the selection criteria were identified in a computer-aided search and assessed for methodological quality. A best-evidence synthesis was performed instead of statistical data pooling, because of the heterogeneity of the interventions and study populations. Five of nine studies comparing return-to-work intervention with usual care were identified as methodologically high-quality studies. Strong evidence was found for the effectiveness of return to work intervention on the return-to-work rate after 6 months and for the effectiveness of return-to-work intervention on the reduction of days of absence from work after ≥12 months. It can be concluded that return-to-work interventions are equal or more effective regarding absence from work due to subacute low-back pain than usual care is.

The following articles refer to this text: 2005;31(4):245-247; 2007;33(4):241-243; 2009;35(1):56-64; 2014;40(2):156-166