Effectiveness of workplace rehabilitation interventions in the treatment of work-related low back pain: A systematic review
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PURPOSE: A systematic review was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of workplace rehabilitation interventions for injured workers with low back pain (LBP). METHOD: MEDLINE, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), EMBASE, and AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine) were searched from 1982 to 2005 for peer-reviewed studies of rehabilitation interventions that were provided at the workplace to workers with musculoskeletal work-related LBP. Methodological quality appraisal and data extraction were conducted by five reviewers. RESULTS: Of a total of 1,224 articles that were identified by the search, 15 articles, consisting of 10 studies, were of sufficient quality to be included in the review. The best evidence was that clinical interventions with occupational interventions as well as early return to work/modified work interventions were effective in returning workers to work faster, reducing pain and disability, and decreasing the rate of back injuries. Ergonomic interventions also were found to be effective workplace interventions. CONCLUSION: The need for further research in this area is necessary to reduce the burden of back pain on employees and their families, employers, and the health care system.