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Does early intervention improve outcomes in physiotherapy management of lumbar radicular syndrome? A mixed-methods study protocol

Reddington, Michael; Walters, Stephen J.; Cohen, Judith; Baxter, Susan


Michael Reddington

Stephen J. Walters

Judith Cohen

Susan Baxter


© Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to Introduction Lumbar radicular syndrome (LRS) can be a painful and debilitating condition. The optimum management strategies and their timing remain elusive despite extensive research. Surgery provides good short-Term outcomes but has concomitant risks and costs. Physiotherapy is commonly practised for patients with LRS but its effects remain equivocal and there is a lack of consensus on the type, duration and timing of physiotherapy intervention. There is a lack of high-quality evidence into new and innovative management strategies and the timings of those strategies for LRS. This pilot trial is an essential preliminary to a definitive randomised controlled trial (RCT) assessing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of early physiotherapy intervention for patients with LRS. The study will test the protocol, the intervention, the use of outcome measures and the ability to set-up and run the trial to enable refinement of a future definitive RCT. Methods and analysis This is a mixed-methods study encompassing an external pilot RCT with integrated qualitative interviews with patients, clinicians and other key stakeholders. 80 patients will be recruited from primary care and randomised, after consent into 1 of 2 groups. Both groups will receive individually tailored, goal orientated physiotherapy. The usual care group will begin their physiotherapy 6â €..weeks after randomisation and the intervention group at 2â €..weeks after randomisation. Outcome measures will primarily be feasibility parameters including the ability to recruit and retain patients and to deliver the intervention. Data will be collected at baseline, and 6, 12 and 26â €..weeks following randomisation. Ethics and dissemination The study has received favourable ethical review from the East of Scotland Research Ethics Service (EoSRES) on the 20 August 2015 (15/ES/0130). Recruitment began on the 1 March 2016 and is expected to close in January 2017. Data collection is anticipated to be complete in July 2017. The study results will be made available to participants, clinicians involved in the study and the wider clinical community through publication in a peer reviewed journal and at conference presentations. Trial registration number ISRCTN: 25018352, Pre-results; Clinical Trials.Gov: NCT02618278 Document version V1.1 23.9.2016.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2017
Journal BMJ Open
Print ISSN 2044-6055
Electronic ISSN 2044-6055
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 3
Article Number e014422
APA6 Citation Reddington, M., Walters, S. J., Cohen, J., & Baxter, S. (2017). Does early intervention improve outcomes in physiotherapy management of lumbar radicular syndrome? A mixed-methods study protocol. BMJ open, 7(3),
Keywords General Medicine
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license


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Copyright Statement
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license

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