The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a stretching exercise program (SEP) on low back pain (LBP) and exercise self-efficacy among nurses in Taiwan. A total of 127 nurses, who had been experiencing LBP for longer than 6 months and had LBP with pain scores greater than 4 on the Visual Analogue Scale for Pain (VASP), were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group (n = 64) followed an SEP, whereas the control group (n = 63) was directed to perform usual activities for 50 minutes per time, three times a week. Data were collected at four time points: at baseline, and 2, 4, and 6 months after the intervention. During the 6-month follow-up, the experimental group had significantly lower VASP scores than did the control group at the second, fourth, and sixth months. In addition, the experimental group showed significantly higher exercise self-efficacy than did the control group at the fourth and sixth months. A total of 81% of the participants in the experimental group reported a moderate to high level of LBP relief. The findings can be used to enhance self-care capabilities with SEP for nurses that experience LBP or are vulnerable to such work-related pain. SEP is an effective and safe nonpharmacological intervention for the management of LBP.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.