Clinicians and clinical researchers share a common goal of achieving better outcomes for patients with low back pain (LBP). For that, randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews are the most reliable study designs to determine the effects of interventions. Subgroup analyses in these research designs have been used to examine treatment-effect modification across subgroups defined by patient characteristics. In this Viewpoint, the authors present supporting and opposing arguments for the subgrouping approach in nonspecific LBP, considering the progress made so far in the LBP field and the relevant literature in adjacent fields.

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Keywords LBP, low back pain, study design, subgrouping
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Journal Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Saragiotto, B.T, Maher, C, Hancock, M.J, & Koes, B.W. (2017). Subgrouping patients with nonspecifc low back pain:hope or hype?. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (Vol. 47, pp. 44–48). doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.0602