Objective. To assess the efficacy of lumbar supports and education in the prevention of low back pain in industry. Design. A randomized controlled trial with a factorial design. Method. In the Cargo Department of the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) 312 workers were randomly assigned to four groups after informed consent: education (lifting instructions) and lumbar support, education only, lumbar support only, and no intervention (control group). Of 282 workers data were available for the six-month follow-up period. Education consisted of three group sessions on lifting techniques with a total duration of 5 hours. Lumbar supports were used for six months during working hours. Back pain incidence and sick leave due to back pain during the intervention period were recorded. Results. Compliance with wearing the lumbar support was 43%. Overall, no statistically significant differences in back pain incidence or in sick leave due to back pain were found between the study groups. In a subgroup of subjects with back pain at baseline, lumbar supports reduced the number of days with back pain per month (median of 1.2 versus 6.5 days per month; p = 0.03). Conclusion. Overall, lumbar supports or education did not lead to a reduction in back pain incidence or sick leave. The results of the subgroup analysis need to be confirmed by further research. Based on our results, the use of education or lumbar supports cannot be recommended in the prevention of back pain in industry.
|Translated title of the contribution||No measurable effect of lumbar supports and lifting instructions to prevent low back pain in the work place; a randomized, controlled trial|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Sep 1999|