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Low back pain disability is the second most common reason for work absence in the UK. Societal costs, all costs attributed to the condition not just medical costs, were £12 billion in the UK in 1998, with the greatest proportion (£11 billion) due to work absence.1 Similar patterns of high societal cost, largely due to work absence, exist throughout the developed world within different healthcare and welfare systems. Despite high societal costs, most back pain trials report clinical outcomes, and the small number of economic evaluations are usually from a healthcare provider's perspective, comparing clinical effectiveness with healthcare cost.
A multidisciplinary outpatient programme previously demonstrated to be clinically effective was evaluated for cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and cost-benefit from a …
Competing interests None.