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An internet-based approach to enhance self-management of chronic low back pain in the Italian-speaking population of Switzerland: results from a pilot study

Summary

Objective:

To illustrate the development and pilot evaluation of a website designed to enhance self-management of chronic low back pain for the Italian-speaking population of Switzerland.

Methods:

20 patients affected by chronic low back pain used a website – specifically created for the project – for a period of five months, under the monitoring of a team of health professionals. Evaluation was carried out by means of a telephone questionnaire administered at baseline and at the end of the intervention, and intermediate online user-testing performed in the fourth month of the intervention. A control group of 15 patients was created to assist the evaluation.

Results:

Compared to the control group, results from the pilot evaluation suggest a decrease in the intensity of back pain in people with access to the website; an increase in physical activity; a reduction in both medical consultation and the use of painkillers, and a gain in declarative and procedural knowledge. This coincides with a general positive assessment of the website.

Conclusion:

The study supports the need to test the proposed approach on a wider scale.

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Correspondence to Peter Johannes Schulz.

Additional information

Submitted: 21 November 2005, Revised: 13 July 2006, 24 February 2007, Accepted: 28 March 2007

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Schulz, P.J., Rubinell, S. & Hartung, U. An internet-based approach to enhance self-management of chronic low back pain in the Italian-speaking population of Switzerland: results from a pilot study. Int J Public Health 52, 286–294 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-007-5127-9

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Keywords:

  • Health promotion
  • Health communication
  • Internet
  • Management of chronic low back pain
  • Doctor-patient interaction
  • Tailoring