The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a training to increase collaboration between general practitioners and occupational health physicians in the treatment of patients with low back pain (LBP) because more collaboration might improve a patient's recovery and shorten sick leave. In a controlled trial, the intervention in one region was compared with usual care in a control region. Participating physicians enrolled patients with LBP on sick leave for 3-12 weeks. Patients filled out three questionnaires: at inclusion, at 3 months, and at 6 months. Information on sick leave was gathered from occupational health services. All analyses were performed on an intention-to-treat basis. Fifty-six patients with LBP were enrolled in each region. There was little collaboration between physicians during the project. Patients in the intervention region returned to work significantly later (P = .005) but were significantly more satisfied with their occupational health physician (P = .01). No differences were found between the intervention and control patients for pain, disability, quality of life, and medical consumption. Our study does not show a positive effect of the training to increase collaboration between general practitioners and occupational health physicians. The training may not have improved collaboration enough to influence the prognosis of LBP.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2004.04.015, hdl.handle.net/1765/69407
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Faber, E, Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M, Burdorf, A, Nauta, A.P, Hulshof, C.T.J, Overzier, P.M, … Koes, B.W. (2005). In a controlled trial training general practitioners and occupational physicians to collaborate did not influence sickleave of patients with low back pain. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 58(1), 75–82. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2004.04.015