Impact of a functional restoration program on pain and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic low back pain

Pain Med. Nov-Dec 2006;7(6):501-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2006.00238.x.


Objective: Functional restoration programs for chronic low back pain (CLBP) have been shown to be successful in improving function and, to a lesser extent, in reducing pain. The Munich Functional Restoration Program (MFRP) is a 4-week outpatient program designed to reduce pain and to improve health-related quality of life in patients with a long history of CLBP.

Design: In a retrospective matched concurrent-controls therapeutic study, 44 patients with CLBP, who had either undergone MFRP or received an outpatient standard treatment (control) after initial evaluation at the pain center, completed questionnaires 1 year after the respective therapy (t1). The following parameters were assessed: health-related quality of life with Short Form-36 (SF-36), Pain Disability Index (PDI), Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for pain, depression with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Test (CES-D), and occupational situation. These data were compared with baseline values assessed by a questionnaire completed before starting the respective treatment (baseline, t0).

Results: Compared with control, NRS and PDI were significantly better in patients completing the MFRP. Patients of the MFRP group showed also a significant reduction in CES-D as well as an improvement in three of eight SF-36 subscales. No changes were detected in the control group receiving standard treatment.

Conclusions: Compared with standard treatment, a functional restoration program for CLBP significantly improves some aspects of health-related quality of life. It results in a decrease of pain and pain-related disability even in patients with a long history of CLBP.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / trends
  • Behavior Therapy / methods
  • Behavior Therapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Behavior Therapy / trends
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Chronic Disease / rehabilitation
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / psychology*
  • Low Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Clinics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pain Clinics / trends
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Pain Threshold / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / trends
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time
  • Treatment Outcome