The aim of this single-blind pilot RCT was to investigate the effect of pain biology education and group exercise classes compared to pain biology education alone for individuals with chronic low back pain (CLBP). Participants with CLBP were randomised to a pain biology education and group exercise classes group (EDEX) [n = 20] or a pain biology education only group (ED) [n = 18]. The primary outcome was pain (0-100 numerical rating scale), and self-reported function assessed using the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, measured at pre-intervention, post-intervention and three month follow up. Secondary outcome measures were pain self-efficacy, pain related fear, physical performance testing and free-living activity monitoring. Using a linear mixed model analysis, there was a statistically significant interaction effect between time and intervention for both pain (F[2,49] = 3.975, p < 0.05) and pain self-efficacy (F[2,51] = 4.011, p < 0.05) with more favourable results for the ED group. The effects levelled off at the three month follow up point. In the short term, pain biology education alone was more effective for pain and pain self-efficacy than a combination of pain biology education and group exercise classes. This pilot study highlights the need to investigate the combined effects of different interventions.
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