Burton, A. Kim, Waddell, Gordon, Burtt, R. and Blair, S. (1996) Patient educational material in the management of low back pain in primary care. Bulletin of NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, 55 (3). pp. 138-141. ISSN 1936-9719

Distributing educational material about low back pain to patients is increasingly seen as a possible adjunct to clinical management and a potential means of reducing the risk of the progression of the disorder toward chronic disability. Most back pain is managed in the primary care setting, where such material could save time and support the efforts of these practitioners. Recent evidence-based clinical guidelines for acute low back pain in U.S. and U.K. have advocated the use of educational material, but most of the available booklets are based on traditional biomedical theory about back pain and are neither evidence-based nor in line with recent guidelines. The few of these booklets that have been tested have had inconsistent effects. A new booklet has been developed which is evidence-based, in line with recent guidelines, and states its messages in a firm, uncluttered, and unambiguous manner. Preliminary studies show that it is readily accepted by patients, that they understand the messages, and that it creates a positive shift in beliefs about low back pain. Further studies regarding the use of this booklet are required to determine its effect on clinical outcomes.

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