CAM Cost EffectivenessCognitive-Behavioral TherapyPain-Back

Cognitive behavioral treatment for low back pain

Researchers from University of Warwick, in Coventry, UK estimated the cost effectiveness of a group cognitive behavioral treatment in people with low-back pain treated in primary care.

First, the details.

  • 701 adults with subacute or chronic low-back pain were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Up to 6 sessions of a group cognitive behavioral intervention
    • No treatment
  • The response to treatment was evaluated using the Roland Morris disability questionnaire and modified Von Korff scores at 12 months.
  • The evaluators were not aware of the treatment given — single-blind.

And, the results.

  • At 12 months, there was significant improvement with cognitive behavioral therapy compared to the control group.
  • The additional quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained was cost-effective at £1786 ($2739).
    • QALY is a year of life adjusted for its quality or value.
  • There were no serious side effects reported.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Over 1 year, the cognitive behavioral intervention had a sustained effect on troublesome subacute and chronic low-back pain at a low cost to the health-care provider.”

3/17/10 21:56 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.