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Low Back Pain Management Guidelines Have Improved

Last Updated: December 07, 2009.

Guidelines on the management of acute and chronic low back pain have improved in recent years but still require greater transparency, applicability and editorial independence, according to a study in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines on the management of acute and chronic low back pain have improved in recent years but still require greater transparency, applicability and editorial independence, according to a study in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

Walter Bouwmeester, P.T., and colleagues at the VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands, conducted a review of 14 clinical guidelines for the management of acute and chronic low back pain published since 2004, and scored them based on various characteristics.

The researchers found that, in all, 10 guidelines attained high scores for rigor of development, while four had low scores. Overall scores were low for applicability and editorial independence. Clarity and presentation were the domains with the best scores, while scores in the domains of scope and purpose were moderate because there was a lack of description of clinical questions.

"The average quality of guidelines has improved. However, guideline developers should still improve the quality transparency of the development process. Especially the applicability of guidelines and the editorial independence need to be ensured in future guidelines," the authors write.

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