Low Back Pain: Program Description and Outcome in a Case Series
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Studies are needed to enhance our understanding of functional outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to describe a community clinic program for injured workers with low back pain and to report outcomes of the first 50 consecutive patients to enter the program who were evaluated using a standardized assessment procedure. Data for this report were collected from a retrospective chart review as part of an evaluation of the program. The patients referred to the clinic entered a 4-week treatment program. They were assessed at entry and discharge using the Toronto-Hamilton Lumbar Database. The database assessment is a standardized evaluation for documenting subjective and objective clinical data, and the protocol includes a diagnostic classification system and pain and function ratings. The results of this investigation include a statistically significant (p < 0.05) decrease in pain and increase in function as measured by the Jan van Breemen pain and disability scales and the Sickness Impact Profile. Seventy-four percent of the treatment group had returned to work by 6 weeks postdischarge from the program. This study suggests that a significant improvement in functional capabilities, a decrease in pain and disability indices, and higher return-to-work rates can be achieved through a 4-week, community-based multiprofessional rehabilitation program.
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