General practitioner experiences using a low back pain management booklet aiming to decrease non-indicated imaging for low back pain

Hazel J. Jenkins*, Niamh A. Moloney, Simon D. French, Chris G. Maher, Blake F. Dear, John S. Magnussen, Mark J. Hancock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Imaging is overused in the management of low back pain, resulting in overdiagnosis, increased healthcare utilisation, and increased costs. Few effective interventions to decrease inappropriate use have been developed and have typically not been developed using behaviour change theory. An intervention to reduce non-indicated imaging for low back pain was developed using behavioural change theory, incorporating a novel low back pain management booklet to facilitate patient education and reassurance. The aim of this study was to assess the adoption and feasibility of use of the developed intervention within clinical practice and to determine appropriate implementation strategies to address identified barriers to use.

Methods: Fourteen general medical practitioners were recruited and trained to use the booklet with low back pain patients over a minimum 5-month period. Quantitative data on use of the booklet were collected and analysed descriptively. Qualitative data on use of the booklet and training session were collected in general medical practitioner interviews and thematically analysed. Barriers to use were identified and mapped to suitable implementation strategies using the Behaviour Change Wheel.

Results: Practitioners used the booklet with 73 patients. The booklet was used with 63% of patients presenting with low back pain. Facilitators for using the booklet included patient's requesting imaging and lower practitioner confidence in managing low back pain. Barriers included accessible storage and remembering to use the booklet. Implementation strategies were identified to increase adoption and feasibility of use, including development of a digital version of the booklet.

Conclusions: General medical practitioners reported that the low back pain management booklet and training were useful for clinical practice, particularly with patients requesting imaging. Barriers to use were identified and implementation strategies to address these barriers will be incorporated into future effectiveness studies. This study forms one of a series of studies to thoroughly develop and test an intervention to reduce non-indicated imaging for low back pain; a successful intervention would decrease healthcare costs and improve patient management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalImplementation Science Communications
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Low back pain
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • General practitioners
  • Patient education
  • Implementation science
  • Feasibility studies

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