Adherence to rehabilitation in patients with low back pain

Man Ther. 2003 May;8(2):110-6. doi: 10.1016/s1356-689x(02)00156-x.


This study investigated adherence to low back pain rehabilitation in the clinical setting. Adherence was assessed in 105 (71 male and 34 female) patients attending private physiotherapy clinics for rehabilitation of low back pain. Three aspects of adherence were measured over the 4-week study period: attendance at clinic-based rehabilitation sessions, adherence to a home exercise component of rehabilitation, and adherence to activities and advice during clinic-based rehabilitation. Rehabilitation outcome was measured using the Patients' Measure of Perceived Rehabilitation (McDonald & Hardy 1990) and the Physiotherapists' Measure of Perceived Rehabilitation (McDonald & Hardy 1990). It was found that patients attended 87.7% of their scheduled physiotherapy rehabilitation appointments and reported completing 71.6% of their prescribed home exercises. In relation to adherence to clinic-based rehabilitation activities (as measured by the Sport Injury Rehabilitation Adherence Scale, Brewer et al. 2000), patients scored an average of 11.6/15. Although no gender differences were found, compensable patients adhered significantly less to clinic-based rehabilitation activities than did their non-compensable counterparts. Further, it was found that higher levels of adherence to clinic-based activities significantly predicted both the patients' and physiotherapists' perception of degree of rehabilitation at the end of the 4-week rehabilitation period. These findings are discussed in relation to rehabilitation strategies for physiotherapists.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / psychology*
  • Low Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Physical Therapy Department, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome