Text Message intervention to improve function in people with low back pain
What low back pain is and how to treat it
Low back pain affects 1 in 6 Australians at any one time, with 50% of the population reporting low back pain in the last month. It accounts for approximately $4.8 billion in Australia every year in direct health care costs. Low back pain is also the leading cause of disability world-wide with 540 million people globally affected by activity limiting low back pain.
Most recent evidence show that treatments most commonly offered to patients with low back pain are not evidence-based, and potentially harmful (e.g. opioids, routine imaging). Furthermore, passive treatment approaches such as medication and bed rest, have been linked with greater disability in comparison to active management strategies and fail to empower the patient to self-manage their condition. In fact, the importance of self-management strategies is highlighted in current guidelines as it leads to less disability and pain in comparison to usual care. However, it is still not known which self-management strategy is better for people with low back pain.
Self-management delivered via text message has been already proven effective for different conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight loss, physical activity increase, smoking cessation and medication adherence. However, the use of mobile phone text messages to educate and empower patients with an episode of non-specific LBP in self-managing their condition is so far unknown.
Is text message lifestyle-based intervention effective in changing function and other health outcomes in patients with low back pain presenting to primary care?
The University's project
People presenting to pharmacists with back pain will be asked to join the study. If they wish to participate, they will be randomised to one of the two groups which will receive text message in different frequencies and formats. The will be asked to fill in questionnaires to allow us to assess the effect of the intervention in different health outcomes. Moreover, a cost-analysis will be performed so we can assess if the intervention decreased costs and health care related to the back pain.
The study will empower patients to self-manage their condition. Text message is an easy, accessible and affordable intervention that may help people with back pain to take care of themselves.
Moreover, the intervention intends to improve patient’s knowledge about their condition and decrease the costs associated with it.
The University's team
Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira, Associate Professor Paulo Ferreira , Joanna Prior, Carolina G. Fritsch, Professor Andrew J McLachlan, Professor Julie Redfern and Professor Clara Chow.
Please donate today and support the University's research study, TEXT4myBACK, which aims to improve the experiences of people with low back pain. The funds raised could be used to allow the research study to include:
- cost effectiveness analyses
- educational seminars
- research administrative costs
- a Research Assistant to collect vital data
Your donation will help further the University of Sydney research study which hopes to improve the experiences of those with low back pain.
Get in contact:
If you want to get in contact with the research team, please send an email to email@example.com.