Derivation and validation phase for the development of clinical prediction rules for rehabilitation in chronic nonspecific low back pain patients : study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Trials. - London
, p. 1-10
University of Antwerp
Background There is a consensus that exercise therapy should be used as a therapeutic approach in chronic low back pain (CLBP) but little consensus has been reached about the preferential type of therapy. Due to the heterogeneity of the population no clear effect of specific therapy interventions are found. Probably a specific subgroup of the investigated population will benefit from the intervention and another subgroup will not benefit, looking at the total investigated population no significant effects can be found. Therefore there is a need for the development of clinical prediction rules (CPRs). Objectives for this trial are first, the derivation of CPRs to predict treatment response to three forms of exercise therapy for patients with nonspecific CLBP. Secondly, we aim to validate a CPR for the three forms of exercise therapy for patients with nonspecific CLBP. Methods/Design The study design is a randomized controlled trial. Patients with nonspecific CLBP of more than three months duration are recruited at the Antwerp University Hospital (Belgium) and Apra Rehabilitation Hospital. After examination, patients are randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: motor control therapy, general active exercise therapy and isometric training therapy. All patients will undergo 18 treatment sessions during nine weeks. Measurements will be taken at baseline, nine weeks, six months and at one year. The primary outcome used is the Modified Oswestry Disability Questionnaire score. For each type of exercise therapy a CPR will be derived and validated. For validation, the CPR will be applied to divide each treatment group into two subgroups (matched and unmatched therapy) using the baseline measurements. We predict a better therapeutic effect for matched therapy. Discussion A randomized controlled trial has not previously been performed for the development of a CPR for exercise therapy in CLBP patients. Only one CPR was described in a single-arm design for motor control therapy in sub-acute non-radicular LBP patients. In this study, a sufficiently large sample will be included in both the derivation and validation phase.