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Logo of oenvmedOccupational and Environmental MedicineCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
Occup Environ Med. Sep 2000; 57(9): 645–646.
PMCID: PMC1740020
Evaluation of a postgraduate educational programme for occupational physicians on work rehabilitation guidelines for patients with low back pain
P Smits, J Verbeek, F J H van Dijk, J Metz, and C ten
Corvu School of Occupational Medicine Amsterdam, Academic Medical Center, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. p.b.smits/at/
OBJECTIVES—The postgraduate educational programme for occupational physicians on guidelines for work rehabilitation of patients with low back pain was evaluated as to what extent did knowledge of the guidelines increase, and did the workers improve their performance at work.
METHODS—An experimental group (n=25) attended an educational programme and a reference group did so (n=20) 6 months later. Knowledge and performance were assessed for both groups, before and after education of the experimental group. Knowledge was assessed for the reference group after education.
RESULTS—Knowledge increased significantly more in the experimental group. The reference group's score increased further after education. The experimental group's adjusted gain score for performance indicators was significantly positive. Analysis of covariance also showed a significant effect for the experimental group for increased performance score.
CONCLUSIONS—The educational programme improved the quality of care because knowledge and performance of occupational physicians improved and complied better with practice guidelines.

Keywords: evaluation; postgraduate education; occupational physicians; low back pain; guidelines
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