The Monday Memo
March 2, 2015 PITT DPT STUDENTS
Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most costly conditions affecting people in today’s workplace. It can be subdivided into those suffering from an acute episode of LBP, a prolonged yet subacute episode, and a chronic, disabling LBP syndrome. For years, work has been done to re-classify LBP in order to better approach its treatment on a larger scale. Now, LBP will be analyzed to discover what allows a simple tweaked back to become a long-term problem, and we will be studying it in a big way.
“Targeted interventions to Prevent Chronic Low Back Pain in High Risk Patients: A Multi-Site Pragmatic RCT,” headed by principle investigator Dr. Anthony Delitto of the University of Pittsburgh, is a large-scale study aimed at describing what may lead acute LBP patients to progress to chronic LBP patients, as well as the effectiveness of physical therapists working alongside PCPs. The project has been graciously funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, or PCORI, and is half of a recent funding announcement totaling nearly $24 million. The University of Pittsburgh will coordinate with 12 separate clinics across 5 distinct regions of the United States in this five year project.
The project aims to focus on the functionality of the patients involved as well as the healthcare costs associated with the treatment of the patients. Included in these costs will be the number of x-rays, MRI, and surgeries performed on these patients, all of which have been proven time and again to be of little to no statistical value to LBP sufferers. This PCORI project coincides with previous research done in Europe but has yet to be tested and applied to patients in the United States. The project is set to be one the largest of its kind in the country, and will make strides to reduce the pain and suffering of people with chronic LBP.
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