• Scott Masters Scott Masters
  • Michael Yelland Michael Yelland
  • Kent Sweeting Kent Sweeting
  • Phillip Schluter Phillip Schluter
  • Geoff Harding Geoff Harding

Background: The major influences on musculoskeletal medicine practitioners in Australia in the last 20 years have been from an eclectic mix of local and intertiol experts and evidence from many disciplines. This has resulted in practitioners with a multimodal approach that combines evidence with pragmatism. The effectiveness of this combined approach on Australian patients with low back pain needs testing to see if it has broader application. Objectives: This study aimed to measure the effectiveness of a multimodal approach practiced by musculoskeletal medicine practitioners in a private clinic setting supported by a referral network of allied health professiols. Patients and Methods: This non-randomised, non-consecutive audit comprised 75 patients with low back pain with or without leg pain from three musculoskeletal medicine practices in Queensland, Australia. Pain, disability, general health and global response were followed in participants for 6 months. Results: For this cohort, the mean ᠓D age was 45 ᠹears and the median duration of low back pain was 4 years (IQR, 0.5-8 years). The follow-up rate at 6 months was 75%. Clinically and statistically significant reductions in mean scores from baseline to 6 months were noted for pain from 5.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.0-6.0) to 2.9 (95% CI, 2.3-3.5) at 6 months and for Roland-Morris disability questionire from 12.2 (95% CI, 11.0-13.3) to 7.7 (95% CI, 6.2-9.2). At 6 months, 51% were much improved or very much improved. Better reductions in pain and disability were noted in subgroups that were not working, that had pain duration up to 3 months and a past history of one to two episodes of low back pain. Conclusions: The improvements in pain and disability at 6 months observed in this study were similar to those observed for other conservative treatment methods for chronic low back pain.