Background: Practice-based guidelines recommend patient education and exercise as first-line care for low back pain (LBP); however, these recommendations are not routinely delivered in practice. GLA:D® Back, developed in Denmark to assist clinicians to implement guideline recommendations, offers a structured education and supervised exercise program for people with LBP in addition to a clinical registry to evaluate patient outcomes. In this study we evaluated the feasibility of implementing the GLA:D® Back program in Australia. We considered clinician and patient recruitment and retention, program fidelity, exploring clinicians’ and patients’ experiences with the program, and participant outcome data collection. Methods: Clinicians (chiropractors and physiotherapists) were recruited and participated in a 2-day GLA:D® Back training course. Patients were eligible to participate if they had persistent or recurrent LBP. Feasibility domains included the ability to: (1) recruit clinicians to undergo training; (2) recruit and retain patients in the program; (3) observe program fidelity; and (4) perceive barriers and facilitators for GLA:D® Back implementation. We also collected data related to: (5) clinician confidence, attitudes, and behaviour; and (6) patient self-reported outcomes related to pain, disability, and performance tests. Results: Twenty clinicians (8 chiropractors, 12 physiotherapists) participated in the training, with 55% (11/20) offering GLA:D® Back to their patients. Fifty-seven patients were enrolled in the program, with 67% (38/57) attending the final follow-up assessment. Loss to follow up was mainly due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We observed program fidelity, with clinicians generally delivering the program as intended. Interviews revealed two clinician themes related to: (i) intervention acceptability; and (ii) barriers and facilitators to implementation. Patient interviews revealed themes related to: (i) intervention acceptability; and (ii) program efficacy. At 3 months follow-up, clinicians demonstrated high treatment confidence and biomedical orientation. Patient outcomes trended towards improvement. Conclusion: GLA:D® Back implementation in Australia appears feasible based on clinician recruitment, program acceptability and potential benefits for patient outcomes from the small sample of participating clinicians and patients. However, COVID-19 impacted patient recruitment, retention, and data collection. To scale-up GLA:D® Back in private and public settings, further work is warranted to address associated barriers, and to leverage facilitators.
Bibliografisk noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the Macquarie University New Staff (MQNS) grant and the Australia & New Zealand Musculoskeletal (ANZMUSC) Clinical Trials Network Seeding grant. The funders had no role in study design, results interpretation, or manuscript writing.