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Multicentre randomised controlled trial
Cognitive behavioural therapy shown to be an effective and low cost treatment for subacute and chronic low-back pain, improving pain and disability scores in a pragmatic RCT
  1. Jonathan C Hill,
  2. Nadine E Foster,
  3. Elaine M Hay
  1. Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Jonathan C Hill
    Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK; j.hill{at}

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Recent debate has centred on whether psychological interventions that have reasonable evidence in the secondary care setting1 can be adapted to treat common complaints such as back pain in primary care. Last year a high-profile trial in America2 failed to demonstrate that individual treatment with early behaviourally oriented (psychologically informed) physical therapy provided additional benefits over a usual package of physical therapy, even when they examined their findings among the subgroup of patients with elevated levels of pain-related fear. Many others have similarly failed to show that primary care delivered, psychologically informed interventions for back pain are superior to the treatments with which they have been compared.3 The recent BEST trial has, however, shown that a low cost, primary care group intervention based on cognitive behavioural principles is superior …

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  • Competing interests None.