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Chiropractic Research Review

Back-Injury Prevention Programs Ineffective?

Disability associated with low-back pain can be physically and emotionally frustrating to workers and financially damaging to employers. Appropriate prevention tactics in the workplace are key to decreasing injury and related compensation costs.

A literature review that revealed several problems in current back-injury prevention programs prompted this survey of nine companies that assessed overall program content, consistency and effectiveness.

Companies were identified through an Internet search, contacted by telephone and surveyed by way of a scripted, open-ended questionnaire, and the results noted as follows:

* Although all nine companies are well-known for providing educational programs for preventing low-back injuries, presentation styles did not seem to facilitate worker empowerment to prevent injury.

* The intent for providing these programs was poorly defined and measured, and there was inconsistent program content from one company to the next.

* Few companies provided practice or problem-solving tools to help integrate knowledge.

* The lack of clearly defined outcome measures contributes to uncertainty about the effectiveness of current back-injury prevention programs.

Bohr PC, Weber JW. Characteristics of worker education programs for the prevention of low back injuries. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 1998:10, pp13-22.

Chiropractic Research Review

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