Results of a feasibility randomised clinical trial on pain education for low back pain in Nepal: the Pain Education in Nepal-Low Back Pain (PEN-LBP) feasibility trial.

Research paper by Saurab S Sharma, Mark P MP Jensen, G Lorimer GL Moseley, J Haxby JH Abbott

Indexed on: 28 May '19Published on: 29 Mar '19Published in: BMJ open


The aims of this study were to: (1) develop pain education materials in Nepali and (2) determine the feasibility of conducting a randomised clinical trial (RCT) of a pain education intervention using these materials in Nepal. A two-arm, parallel, assessor-blinded, feasibility RCT. A rehabilitation hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal. Forty Nepalese with non-specific low back pain (mean [SD] age 41 [14] years; 12 [30%] women). Eligible participants were randomised, by concealed, 1:1 allocation, to one of two groups: (1) a pain education intervention and (2) a guideline-based physiotherapy active control group intervention. Each intervention was delivered by a physiotherapist in a single, 1-hour, individualised treatment session. The primary outcomes were related to feasibility: recruitment, retention and treatment adherence of participants, feasibility and blinding of outcome assessments, fidelity of treatment delivery, credibility of, and satisfaction with, treatment. Assessments were performed at baseline and at 1 week post-treatment. Pain intensity, pain interference, pain catastrophising, sleep disturbance, resilience, global rating of change, depression and quality of life. Statistical analyses were conducted blind to group allocation. Forty participants were recruited. Thirty-eight participants (95%) completed the 1-week post-treatment assessment. Most primary outcomes surpassed the a priori thresholds for feasibility. Several findings have important implications for designing a full trial. Secondary analyses suggest clinical benefit of pain education over the control intervention, with larger decrease in pain intensity (mean difference=3.56 [95% CI 0.21 to 6.91]) and pain catastrophising (mean difference=6.16 [95% CI 0.59 to 11.72]) in the pain education group. Pain intensity would seem an appropriate outcome for a full clinical trial. One minor adverse event was reported. We conclude that a full RCT of pain education for back pain in Nepal is feasible and warranted. NCT03387228; Results. © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.