Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-wk multidisciplinary occupational training program for patients with chronic low back pain and to identify prognostic factors for treatment success. Design: A total of 51 participants were evaluated at baseline, at discharge, and at 1 yr after conclusion of the program. The evaluation included a physical examination and assessment of functional disability, psychological factors, and coping styles. The main target of the program is full work resumption. The central outcome measures therefore are three variables on return to work. Results: Analysis of variance for repeated measures revealed significant beneficial changes during the program for all measures except for several coping-style variables. The acquired level of maximum oxygen uptake, trunk flexibility, functional disability, and catastrophizing were maintained at 1-yr follow-up. At 1-yr follow-up, >60% of the participants had fully returned to work, which is an increase of >40% compared with baseline. Regression analyses showed that sex, age, the baseline values of reinterpretation of pain sensations, and functional disability and changes in trunk flexibility scores during the program are important prognostic factors for complete return to work. Conclusions: Based on the current findings, the program seems to be efficacious in the short term. Future attention must be directed toward maintaining these results, although work resumption rates improved considerably 1 yr after conclusion of the program.
|Journal||American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|