[Effect of written patient information on knowledge and function of patients with acute uncomplicated back pain (PIK Study)]

Gesundheitswesen. 2010 Dec;72(12):e78-88. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1246174. Epub 2010 Mar 3.
[Article in German]


Background: If patients return early in the course of acute, uncomplicated back pain to their normal activities, their symptoms improve more quickly. Written detailed patient information can have a positive effect on knowledge and can increase physical activity. In this study the effect of a short evidence-based back pain leaflet on knowledge, function and patients' beliefs was investigated.

Methods: A randomised controlled trial was carried out in 12 primary care practices. Patients with acute, uncomplicated back pain received either the back-pain specific information (intervention) or a leaflet without content regarding back pain (control). Participants' data were inquired before consultation of the general practitioner, as well as 1 week and 3 months later. Outcome measures were SF-36, FABQ-D, FFbH-R, knowledge concerning back pain, frequency of use of the leaflet, usefulness of the information and change of behaviour.

Results: The included patients totaled 174. The response rates were 74.7% (1 week) and 67% (3 months). Patients receiving the intervention leaflet showed better knowledge at 1 week and greater improvement in function scores at 3 months. There was no effect on patients' beliefs. Patients of the intervention group reported more activity in everyday life.

Conclusion: Short written information may have small, in total possibly positive effects on knowledge, support of activity and function in patients with acute, uncomplicated back pain.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pamphlets*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult