Introduction Non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) is a very common and costly musculoskeletal disorder associated with a complex interplay of biopsychosocial factors. Cognitive functional therapy (CFT) represents a novel, patient-centred intervention which directly challenges pain-related behaviours in a cognitively integrated, functionally specific and graduated manner. CFT aims to target all biopsychosocial factors that are deemed to be barriers to recovery for an individual patient with NSCLBP. A recent randomised controlled trial (RCT) demonstrated the superiority of individualised CFT for NSCLBP compared to manual therapy combined with exercise. However, several previous RCTs have suggested that class-based interventions are as effective as individualised interventions. Therefore, it is important to examine whether an individualised intervention, such as CFT, demonstrates clinical effectiveness compared to a relatively cheaper exercise and education class. The current study will compare the clinical effectiveness of individualised CFT with a combined exercise and pain education class in people with NSCLBP.
Methods and analysis This study is a multicentre RCT. 214 participants, aged 18–75 years, with NSCLBP for at least 6 months will be randomised to one of two interventions across three sites. The experimental group will receive individualised CFT and the length of the intervention will be varied in a pragmatic manner based on the clinical progression of participants. The control group will attend six classes which will be provided over a period of 6–8 weeks. Participants will be assessed preintervention, postintervention and after 6 and12 months. The primary outcomes will be functional disability and pain intensity. Non-specific predictors, moderators and mediators of outcome will also be analysed.
Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval has been obtained from the Mayo General Hospital Research Ethics Committee (MGH-14-UL). Outcomes will be disseminated through publication according to the SPIRIT statement and will be presented at scientific conferences.
Trial registration number (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02145728).
- PAIN MANAGEMENT
- PUBLIC HEALTH
- PRIMARY CARE
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