People with low back pain want clear, consistent and personalized information on prognosis, treatment options and self-management strategies: a systematic review

Review written by Dr Sandy Hilton info

Key Points

  1. Diagnosis: Patients seek a definitive diagnosis and imaging to confirm the diagnosis despite evidence that imaging is often not helpful.
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One in ten people are living with low back pain (LBP) worldwide (1). Despite the global prevalence and many billions of dollars spent on research and treatment, the effect size of treatments available for low back pain remains modest at best. Despite three recent clinical guidelines for the treatment of low back pain, there is poor clinical uptake.

The barriers to this involve clinician and patient challenges. One barrier is that education is recommended in the guidelines for LBP without guidance on what content should be included in the education. The authors of this paper point out the need to understand the patient perspective in order to address these challenges and maximize the potential to increase outcomes in LBP (2). In this paper, the authors searched for an answer to the question - “What health information needs are perceived by people with low back pain?”.

The effect size of treatments available for low back pain is modest at best.
This information needs to be delivered in age and culturally appropriate ways, with tailoring to lifestyle and occupational needs


This paper was a systematic review done as a part of a larger project following standard protocols. The inclusion criteria were studies with subjects over 18 years of age, regarding patients with LBP, and that reported on patient perspectives of

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