Sowden, G, Hill, JC, Morso, L, Louw, Q and Foster, NE ORCID: 0000-0003-4429-9756 (2018) Advancing practice for back pain through stratified care (STarT Back). Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy. ISSN 1413-3555

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Abstract

Background
Low back pain (LBP) is common, however research comparing the effectiveness of different treatments over the last two decades conclude either no or small differences in the average effects of different treatments. One suggestion to explain this is that patients are not all the same and important subgroups exist that might require different treatment approaches. Stratified care for LBP involves identifying subgroups of patients and then delivering appropriate matched treatments. Research has shown that stratified care for LBP in primary care can improve clinical outcomes, reduce costs and increase the efficiency of health-care delivery in the UK. The challenge now is to replicate and evaluate this approach in other countries health care systems and to support services to implement it in routine clinical care.

Results
The STarT Back approach to stratified care has been tested in the National Health Service, within the UK, it reduces unnecessary overtreatment in patients who have a good prognosis (those at low risk) yet increases the likelihood of appropriate healthcare and associated improved outcomes for those who are at risk of persistent disabling pain. The approach is cost-effective in the UK healthcare setting and has been recommended in recent guidelines and implemented as part of new LBP clinical pathways of care. This approach has subsequently generated international interest, a replication study is currently underway in Denmark, however, some lessons have already been learnt. There are potential obstacles to implementing stratified care in low-and-middle-income settings and in other high-income settings outside of the UK, however, implementation science literature can inform the development of innovations and efforts to support implementation of stratified care.

Conclusions
The STarT Back approach to stratified care for LBP is a promising method to advance practice that has demonstrated clinical and cost effectiveness in the UK. Over time, further evidence for both the effectiveness and the adaptations needed to test and implement the STarT Back stratified care approach in other countries is needed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.06.003 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: stratified care, back pain, STarT Back, implementation
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2018 13:45
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2018 13:52
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/5085

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