Occupational health guidelines for the management of low back pain: an international comparison

J. B. Staal, H. Hlobil, M. W. Van Tulder, G. Waddell, A. K. Burton, B. W. Koes, W. Van Mechelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

116 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The enormous socioeconomic burden of low back pain emphasises the need for effective management of this problem, especially in an occupational context. To address this, occupational guidelines have been issued in various countries. Aims: To compare available international guidelines dealing with the management of low back pain in an occupational health care setting. Methods: The guidelines were compared regarding generally accepted quality criteria using the AGREE instrument, and also summarised regarding the guideline committee, the presentation, the target group, and assessment and management recommendations (that is, advice, return to work strategy, and treatment). Results and Conclusions: The results show that the quality criteria were variously met by the guidelines. Common flaws concerned the absence of proper external reviewing in the development process, lack of attention to organisational barriers and cost implications, and lack of information on the extent to which editors and developers were independent. There was general agreement on numerous issues fundamental to occupational health management of back pain. The assessment recommendations consisted of diagnostic triage, screening for "red flags" and neurological problems, and the identification of potential psychosocial and workplace barriers for recovery. The guidelines also agreed on advice that low back pain is a self limiting condition and, importantly, that remaining at work or an early (gradual) return to work, if necessary with modified duties, should be encouraged and supported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-626
Number of pages9
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume60
Issue number9
Early online date22 Aug 2003
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2003

Fingerprint

Occupational Health
Low Back Pain
Guidelines
Return to Work
Triage
Back Pain
Workplace
Delivery of Health Care
Costs and Cost Analysis

Cite this

Staal, J. B. ; Hlobil, H. ; Van Tulder, M. W. ; Waddell, G. ; Burton, A. K. ; Koes, B. W. ; Van Mechelen, W. / Occupational health guidelines for the management of low back pain : an international comparison. In: Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2003 ; Vol. 60, No. 9. pp. 618-626.
@article{17a387b2820341a186bcf570621039c2,
title = "Occupational health guidelines for the management of low back pain: an international comparison",
abstract = "Background: The enormous socioeconomic burden of low back pain emphasises the need for effective management of this problem, especially in an occupational context. To address this, occupational guidelines have been issued in various countries. Aims: To compare available international guidelines dealing with the management of low back pain in an occupational health care setting. Methods: The guidelines were compared regarding generally accepted quality criteria using the AGREE instrument, and also summarised regarding the guideline committee, the presentation, the target group, and assessment and management recommendations (that is, advice, return to work strategy, and treatment). Results and Conclusions: The results show that the quality criteria were variously met by the guidelines. Common flaws concerned the absence of proper external reviewing in the development process, lack of attention to organisational barriers and cost implications, and lack of information on the extent to which editors and developers were independent. There was general agreement on numerous issues fundamental to occupational health management of back pain. The assessment recommendations consisted of diagnostic triage, screening for {"}red flags{"} and neurological problems, and the identification of potential psychosocial and workplace barriers for recovery. The guidelines also agreed on advice that low back pain is a self limiting condition and, importantly, that remaining at work or an early (gradual) return to work, if necessary with modified duties, should be encouraged and supported.",
keywords = "low back pain, occupational, guidelines",
author = "Staal, {J. B.} and H. Hlobil and {Van Tulder}, {M. W.} and G. Waddell and Burton, {A. K.} and Koes, {B. W.} and {Van Mechelen}, W.",
year = "2003",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1136/oem.60.9.618",
language = "English",
volume = "60",
pages = "618--626",
journal = "Occupational and Environmental Medicine",
issn = "1351-0711",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
number = "9",

}

Occupational health guidelines for the management of low back pain : an international comparison. / Staal, J. B.; Hlobil, H.; Van Tulder, M. W.; Waddell, G.; Burton, A. K.; Koes, B. W.; Van Mechelen, W.

In: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 60, No. 9, 01.09.2003, p. 618-626.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Occupational health guidelines for the management of low back pain

T2 - an international comparison

AU - Staal, J. B.

AU - Hlobil, H.

AU - Van Tulder, M. W.

AU - Waddell, G.

AU - Burton, A. K.

AU - Koes, B. W.

AU - Van Mechelen, W.

PY - 2003/9/1

Y1 - 2003/9/1

N2 - Background: The enormous socioeconomic burden of low back pain emphasises the need for effective management of this problem, especially in an occupational context. To address this, occupational guidelines have been issued in various countries. Aims: To compare available international guidelines dealing with the management of low back pain in an occupational health care setting. Methods: The guidelines were compared regarding generally accepted quality criteria using the AGREE instrument, and also summarised regarding the guideline committee, the presentation, the target group, and assessment and management recommendations (that is, advice, return to work strategy, and treatment). Results and Conclusions: The results show that the quality criteria were variously met by the guidelines. Common flaws concerned the absence of proper external reviewing in the development process, lack of attention to organisational barriers and cost implications, and lack of information on the extent to which editors and developers were independent. There was general agreement on numerous issues fundamental to occupational health management of back pain. The assessment recommendations consisted of diagnostic triage, screening for "red flags" and neurological problems, and the identification of potential psychosocial and workplace barriers for recovery. The guidelines also agreed on advice that low back pain is a self limiting condition and, importantly, that remaining at work or an early (gradual) return to work, if necessary with modified duties, should be encouraged and supported.

AB - Background: The enormous socioeconomic burden of low back pain emphasises the need for effective management of this problem, especially in an occupational context. To address this, occupational guidelines have been issued in various countries. Aims: To compare available international guidelines dealing with the management of low back pain in an occupational health care setting. Methods: The guidelines were compared regarding generally accepted quality criteria using the AGREE instrument, and also summarised regarding the guideline committee, the presentation, the target group, and assessment and management recommendations (that is, advice, return to work strategy, and treatment). Results and Conclusions: The results show that the quality criteria were variously met by the guidelines. Common flaws concerned the absence of proper external reviewing in the development process, lack of attention to organisational barriers and cost implications, and lack of information on the extent to which editors and developers were independent. There was general agreement on numerous issues fundamental to occupational health management of back pain. The assessment recommendations consisted of diagnostic triage, screening for "red flags" and neurological problems, and the identification of potential psychosocial and workplace barriers for recovery. The guidelines also agreed on advice that low back pain is a self limiting condition and, importantly, that remaining at work or an early (gradual) return to work, if necessary with modified duties, should be encouraged and supported.

KW - low back pain

KW - occupational

KW - guidelines

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0042528207&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1136/oem.60.9.618

DO - 10.1136/oem.60.9.618

M3 - Article

C2 - 12937181

AN - SCOPUS:0042528207

VL - 60

SP - 618

EP - 626

JO - Occupational and Environmental Medicine

JF - Occupational and Environmental Medicine

SN - 1351-0711

IS - 9

ER -