OTCATS: Occupational Therapy Critically Appraised Topics
Introduction Topics Project Summary EBP Links Media Releases

Does early intervention improve return to work rates outcomes in clients with low back pain?

Prepared by:

Elizabeth Brooks & Rachel Watson, private occupational therapy consultants, Sydney, Australia

Date:

October 2002

Review Date:

October 2004

Clinical Question:

‘Does early intervention improve return to work rates outcomes in clients with low back pain?’

Clinical Scenario:

Early intervention is a concept supported by a range of rehabilitation providers to provide return to work outcomes. Is there evidence to support early intervention in increasing these outcomes?

Clinical Bottom Line:

Early intervention could reduce the number of days off work for a person with a back injury or reduce the risk of developing chronic pain. Early intervention may include examination by doctor and physiotherapist, information in relation to their injury and encouragement or information or specific advice on how to engage in physical activity. However, further studies are required to determine which of the interventions are appropriate to facilitate or improve return to work outcomes and to provide specific timeframes for when these interventions may be most effective.

Full Document:

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