Long-term effects on function, health-related quality of life and work ability after structured physiotherapy including a workplace intervention. A secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial (WorkUp) in primary care for patients with neck and/or back pain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To study the long-term effects of a workplace intervention in addition to structured physiotherapy regarding self-reported measures in patients with acute/subacute neck and/or back pain. Design: WorkUp – a cluster-randomised controlled trial in 32 primary care centers in Sweden, from January 2013 through December 2014 (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02609750). Intervention: Structured physiotherapy with the workplace dialogue ‘Convergence Dialogue Meeting’ (CDM), conducted by the treating physiotherapist as an add-on. Reference group received structured physiotherapy. Subjects: Adults, 18–67 years (mean 43.7, standard deviation (SD) 12.2), 65.3% women with acute/subacute neck and/or back pain who had worked ≥4 weeks past year, considered at risk of sick leave or were on short-term sick leave (≤60 days) were included (n = 352).
Outcome measures: Self-reported function, functional rating index (FRI), health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-3L) and work ability (Work Ability Score, WAS) at 12 months follow-up. Results: The mean differences in outcomes between intervention and reference group were; −0.76 (95% confidence interval (CI): −2.39, 0.88; FRI), 0.02 (95% CI: −0.04, 0.08; EQ-5D-3L) and −0.05 (95% CI: −0.63, 0.53; WAS). From baseline to 12 months, the intervention group improved function from 46.5 (SD 19.7) to 10.5 (SD 7.3) on FRI; health-related quality of life from 0.53 (SD 0.29) to 0.74 (SD 0.20) on EQ-5D and work ability from 5.7 (SD 2.6) to 7.6 (SD 2.1) on WAS. Conclusion: Despite a clinically relevant improvement over time, there were no significant differences in improvement between groups, thus we conclude that CDM had no effect on self-reported measures in this study.


External organisations
  • Blekinge Centre of competence
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Vaxjö Municipal
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physiotherapy
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Jan 30
Publication categoryResearch

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