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The effect of exercise on primary prevention of low back pain (LBP) is uncertain. Saragiotto and Latimer1 summarised a recent meta-analysis of eight randomised controlled trials (RCTs, 11 reports) by Steffens et al.2 I have several major concerns regarding that meta-analysis.2
First, primary studies were incompletely identified using an inappropriate search strategy and symbols. Neither Embase nor the Cochrane Library uses a dollar sign ($), but an asterisk (*) as a truncation symbol to search for one or more missing characters. The authors2 identified 3.2 times more publications in Embase than in MEDLINE, and only …
Funding The study is supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (grant no 253715).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.