The aim of this pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) was to compare multimodal group rehabilitation to usual care physiotherapy for patients with chronic neck pain (CNP). Participants (n=14) were randomly assigned to one of two interventions, multimodal group rehabilitation or usual care physiotherapy. Multimodal group rehabilitation involved stability, strengthening and proprioceptive exercises along with an educational programme. Patients attended for 1h, once a week for six weeks. The usual care group was treated as deemed appropriate by their physiotherapist. A blinded assessor recorded baseline and post-intervention scores of disability and pain using the neck disability index (NDI) and the 0-10 pain numerical rating scale (NRS), respectively. One participant from each group dropped out before receiving any intervention. Post-intervention both groups significantly improved in both function and pain scores (p ≤ 0.01). The mean change in the NDI scores for the multimodal group versus the usual care group were 12.3 ± 5.3% and 7.4 ± 4.8%, and pain NRS score changes were 4.6 ± 2.3 and 4.5 ± 2.2, respectively. There was no significant difference in improvements in disability (p = 0.84) or pain (p = 0.67) between groups. These results warrant further investigation of multimodal group rehabilitation for CNP, and provide data to inform an appropriately powered full-scale RCT with long-term follow-up.
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