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Do physical conditioning programmes reduce work absenteeism related to back pain? (PEDro synthesis)
  1. Vinicius Cunha Oliveira1,
  2. Guilherme C Jardim1,
  3. Steve J Kamper2,3
  1. 1Pós-Graduação em Reabilitação e Desempenho Funcional, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  2. 2School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  3. 3Centre for Pain, Health and Lifestyle, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vinicius Cunha Oliveira; viniciuscunhaoliveira{at}

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Schaafsma FG, Whelan K, van der Beek AJ, Physical conditioning as part of a return to work strategy to reduce sickness absence for workers with back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013; Issue 8: CD001822.


Back pain is the leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide,1 and related work absenteeism contributes to the substantial economic burden of this health condition.2 Identification of effective treatments is important to reduce this burden. Physical conditioning programmes are an option for improving health-related outcomes including work absenteeism, but the effectiveness of these programmes on work absenteeism related to back pain is unclear.


The aim of this Cochrane review was to investigate the effectiveness of physical conditioning on work absenteeism related to back pain.3

Searches and inclusion criteria

Searches for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were conducted on CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and PEDro up to May 2013. RCTs were eligible if they included adults (>16 years) with work disability related to back pain who took part in physical conditioning programmes. …

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  • Contributors GCJ, VCO and SJK: selected the systematic review, interpreted data and reviewed drafts.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.