Effectiveness of psychological interventions delivered by physiotherapists in the management of neck pain: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Review written by Dr Sandy Hilton info

Key Points

  1. Access to behavioral therapists is limited and physiotherapists have been utilizing psychologically informed treatments in the management of musculoskeletal pain.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Neck pain is among the largest causes of global disability with high costs of health care and loss of income regardless of the cause of the neck pain (1). Current clinical outcomes for the treatment of neck pain have modest effects and include education on self-care and exercise (2). In addition to education and exercise recommendations, many therapists include the use of behavioral interventions (like cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]), as access to qualified behavioral health providers is limited.

The authors of this systematic review aimed to determine if physiotherapists could be effective in providing psychological interventions to address neck pain, disability, and quality of life in acute or chronic whiplash associated disorder (WAD) or nontraumatic neck pain (NTNP).

Neck pain is among the largest causes of global disability with high costs of health care and loss of income regardless of the cause of the neck pain.
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There is evidence that psychological interventions may be helpful for both whiplash associated disorder and non-traumatic neck pain.

METHODS

The randomized controlled trials (RCTs) included had to have assessed physiotherapy delivered psychological interventions alone and compared to routine physiotherapy care or no treatment. The physiotherapists in the studies had to have been trained in the interventions by psychologists or

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