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1.  Non-traumatic arm, neck and shoulder complaints: prevalence, course and prognosis in a Dutch university population 
Background
Complaints of arm, neck and shoulder are a major health problem in Western societies and a huge economic burden due to sickness absence and health-care costs. In 2003 the 12-month prevalence’s in the Netherlands were estimated at 31.4% for neck pain, 30.3% for shoulder pain, and 17.5% for wrist and hand pain. Research data suggest that these complaints are increasingly common among university students. The aims of the present study are to provide insight into the prevalence of complaints of arm, neck or shoulder in a university population, to evaluate the clinical course of these complaints and to identify prognostic factors which influence this course.
Methods
The present study is designed as a prospective cohort study, in which a cross-sectional survey is embedded. A self-administered cross-sectional survey will be conducted to gain insight into the prevalence of complaints of arm, neck or shoulder among university students and staff, and to identify persons who are eligible for follow up in the prognostic cohort study. Patients with a new complaint of pain and discomfort in neck and upper extremities between 18–65 years will be asked to participate in the prognostic cohort study. At baseline, after 6, 12, 26 and 52 weeks individual patient data will be collected by means of digitized self-administered questionnaires. The following putative prognostic determinants will be investigated: socio-demographic factors, work-related factors, complaint characteristics, physical activity and psychosocial factors.
The primary outcome is subjective recovery. Secondary outcomes are functional limitations of the arm, neck, shoulder and hand, and complaint severity during the previous week.
Discussion
To our knowledge, this is the first prognostic study on the course of complaints of arm, neck or shoulder that is conducted within a university population. Moreover, there are hardly any studies that have estimated the prevalence of these complaints among university students. The results of this study can be used for patient education and management decisions, as well as for the development of interventions. Moreover, identification of high risk groups in the population is needed to generate hypotheses or explanations of health differences and for the design of prevention programs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-8
PMCID: PMC3561083  PMID: 23289824
CANS; Upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders; Prevalence; Prognostic factors; Course; Cohort study; Survey
2.  The conceptually equivalent Dutch version of the Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index (WORC)© 
Background
The WORC is a quality of life questionnaire designed for patients with disorders of the rotator cuff, originally developed in English. The purpose of this study was to cross-culturally adapt the WORC for use in the Dutch population and to evaluate reliability, agreement and floor and ceiling effects of this Dutch version in a population of patients with rotator cuff disease.
Methods
Reliability was tested by measuring the Cronbach’s alpha for internal consistency and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) for test-retest reliability. Agreement was measured using the Standard Error of Measurement (SEMagreement); and the smallest detectable change (SDC) was calculated based on the SEM. Pearson Correlations Coefficients were used to comparing the WORC with the RAND-36, the Constant Score and 11-point shoulder hindrance scale.
Results
Fifty-seven patients entered into this study of whom 50 were available for test-retest validation. The internal consistency of the Dutch WORC tested by Cronbach’s alpha was 0.95 for the total questionnaire. The ICC for the WORC is 0.91 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.85-0.95. Standard Error of Measurement was 6.0 points with a Smallest Detectable Change of 16.7 points on a 0-100 scale. Pearson Correlations Coefficients showed a significant positive correlation between the Dutch WORC and Constant Score (r = 0.60) and a strong reversed correlation with the shoulder hindrance scale (r = -0.75).
Conclusion
The Dutch WORC seems to be a reliable health-related quality of life questionnaire for patients with rotator cuff disorders.
Trial registration
NCT01532492.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-362
PMCID: PMC3880030  PMID: 24359231
WORC; Quality of life questionnaires; Translation process; Validation; Rotator cuff repair
3.  Effect of pre-operative neuromuscular training on functional outcome after total knee replacement: a randomized-controlled trial 
Background
Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is the standard treatment for patients with severe knee osteoarthritis (OA). Significant improvement in pain and function are seen after TKR and approximately 80% of patients are very satisfied with the outcome. Functional status prior to TKR is a major predictor of outcome after the intervention. Thus, improving functional status prior to surgery through exercise may improve after surgery outcome. However, results from several previous trials testing the concept have been inconclusive after surgery.
Methods/design
In a randomized controlled trial (RCT) we will test the effect of a pre-operative neuromuscular trainingprogram versus an attention control program on lower extremity function – before and after surgery. We will enroll 80 participants, aged between 55–90 years, who are scheduled for TKR. In this single-blinded RCT, the intervention group will receive a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 24 training sessions plus 3 educational sessions of the knee school. The control group will receive the 3 educational sessions only. Assessments are performed immediately before and after the intervention (before surgery), at 6 weeks, 3 months and 12 months (after surgery).
The primary outcome will include the Chair Stand Test as a measure of leg strength and reaction time. Secondary outcomes are knee function and pain assessed with the self-reported Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS). All measurements will be carried out by a specially trained physical therapist, blinded to group allocation.
Discussion
To our knowledge this is the first single-blinded RCT to test the effect of pre-operative neuromuscular training plus knee school against knee school alone – on knee function and pain, assessed immediately after the interventions prior to surgery and repeatedly after surgery.
Trial registration
Clinical Trials NCT00913575
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-157
PMCID: PMC3651334  PMID: 23641782
4.  Reliability of the Multidimensional Pain Inventory and stability of the MPI classification system in chronic back pain 
Background
This cross validation study examined the reliability of the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI) and the stability of the Multidimensional Pain Inventory Classification System of the empirically derived subgroup classification obtained by cluster analysis in chronic musculoskeletal pain. Reliability of the German Multidimensional Pain Inventory was only examined once in the past in a small sample. Previous international studies mainly involving fibromyalgia patients showed that retest resulted in 33–38% of patients being assigned to a different Multidimensional Pain Inventory subgroup classification.
Methods
Participants were 204 persons with chronic musculoskeletal pain (82% chronic non-specific back pain). Subgroup classification was conducted by cluster analysis at 4 weeks before entry (=test) and at entry into the pain management program (=retest) using Multidimensional Pain Inventory scale scores. No therapeutic interventions in this period were conducted. Reliability was quantified by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and stability by kappa coefficients (κ).
Results
Reliability of the Multidimensional Pain Inventory scales was least with ICC = 0.57 for the scale life control and further ranged from ICC = 0.72 (negative mood) to 0.87 (solicitous responses) in the other scales. At retest, 82% of the patients in the Multidimensional Pain Inventory cluster interpersonally distressed (κ = 0.69), 80% of the adaptive copers (κ = 0.58), and 75% of the dysfunctional patients (κ = 0.70) did not change classification. In total, 22% of the patients changed Multidimensional Pain Inventory cluster group, mainly into the adaptive copers subgroup.
Conclusion
Test-retest reliability of the German Multidimensional Pain Inventory was moderate to good and comparable to other language versions. Multidimensional Pain Inventory subgroup classification is substantially stable in chronic back pain patients when compared to other diagnostic groups and other examiner-based subgroup Classification Systems. The MPI Classification System can be recommended for reliable and stable specification of subgroups in observational and interventional studies in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-155
PMCID: PMC3495019  PMID: 22916687
Reliability; Back pain; Cluster; Subgroup; MPI; Classification
5.  Reproducibility of a 3-dimensional gyroscope in measuring shoulder anteflexion and abduction 
Background
Few studies have investigated the use of a 3-dimensional gyroscope for measuring the range of motion (ROM) in the impaired shoulder. Reproducibility of digital inclinometer and visual estimation is poor. This study aims to investigate the reproducibility of a tri axial gyroscope in measurement of anteflexion, abduction and related rotations in the impaired shoulder.
Methods
Fifty-eight patients with either subacromial impingement (27) or osteoarthritis of the shoulder (31) participated. Active anteflexion, abduction and related rotations were measured with a tri axial gyroscope according to a test retest protocol. Severity of shoulder impairment and patient perceived pain were assessed by the Disability of Arm Shoulder and Hand score (DASH) and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). VAS scores were recorded before and after testing.
Results
In two out of three hospitals patients with osteoarthritis (n = 31) were measured, in the third hospital patients with subacromial impingement (n = 27).
There were significant differences among hospitals for the VAS and DASH scores measured before and after testing. The mean differences between the test and retest means for anteflexion were −6 degrees (affected side), 9 (contralateral side) and for abduction 15 degrees (affected side) and 10 degrees (contralateral side).
Bland & Altman plots showed that the confidence intervals for the mean differences fall within −6 up to 15 degrees, individual test - retest differences could exceed these limits.
A simulation according to ‘Generalizability Theory’ produces very good coefficients for anteflexion and related rotation as a comprehensive measure of reproducibility. Optimal reproducibility is achieved with 2 repetitions for anteflexion.
Conclusions
Measurements were influenced by patient perceived pain. Differences in VAS and DASH might be explained by different underlying pathology. These differences in shoulder pathology however did not alter the reproducibility of testing. The use of a tri axial gyroscope is a simple non invasive and reproducible method for the recording of shoulder anteflexion and abduction. Movements have to be repeated twice for reproducible results.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-135
PMCID: PMC3532192  PMID: 22846646
Reproducibility; Shoulder; Tri axial gyroscope; Range of motion; Shoulder function; Generalizability theory
6.  The effect of taping versus semi-rigid bracing on patient outcome and satisfaction in ankle sprains: a prospective, randomized controlled trial 
Background
Functional treatment is a widely used and generally accepted treatment for ankle sprain. A meta-analysis comparing the different functional treatment options could not make definitive conclusions regarding the effectiveness, and until now, little was known about patient satisfaction in relation to the outcome.
Methods
Patients with acute ankle sprain received rest, ice, compression and elevation with an compressive bandage at the emergency department. After 5-7 days, 100 patients with grade II and III sprains were randomized into two groups: one group was treated with tape and the other with a semi-rigid ankle brace, both for 4 weeks. Post-injury physical and proprioceptive training was standardized. As primary outcome parameter patient satisfaction and skin complications were evaluated using a predefined questionnaire and numeric rating scale. As secondary outcome parameter the ankle joint function was assessed using the Karlsson scoring scale and range of motion.
Results
Patient-reported comfort and satisfaction during treatment with a semi-rigid brace was significantly increased. The rate of skin complication in this group was significantly lower compared to the tape group (14.6% versus 59.1%, P < 0.0001). Functional outcome of the ankle joint was similar between the two treatment groups, as well as reported pain.
Conclusion
Treatment of acute ankle sprain with semi-rigid brace leads to significantly higher patient comfort and satisfaction, both with similar good outcome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-81
PMCID: PMC3461430  PMID: 22639864
7.  Movement control exercise versus general exercise to reduce disability in patients with low back pain and movement control impairment. A randomised controlled trial 
Background
Non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) in subacute and chronic stages can be treated effectively with exercise therapy. Research guidelines recommend evaluating different treatments in defined subgroups of patients with NSLBP. A subgroup of patients with movement control impairment (MCI) improved significantly on patient specific function and disability in a previous case series after movement control exercises.
Methods/Design
In a randomised controlled trial (RCT) we will compare the effectiveness of movement control and general exercise in patients with MCI. 106 participants aged 18 - 75 will be recruited in 5 outpatient hospital departments and 7 private practices.
Patients randomly assigned to the movement control exercise group will be instructed to perform exercises according to their MCI. The general exercise group will follow an exercise protocol aimed at improving endurance and flexibility. Patients in both groups will receive 9 - 18 treatments and will be instructed to do additional exercises at home.
The primary outcome is the level of disability assessed using the patient specific functional scale (PSFS) which links the perceived pain to functional situations and is measured before treatment and at 6 and 12 months follow-up. Secondary outcomes concern low back pain related disability (Roland Morris questionnaire, RMQ), graded chronic pain scale (GCPS), range of motion and tactile acuity.
Discussion
To our knowledge this study will be the first to compare two exercise programs for a specific subgroup of patients with NSLBP and MCI. Results of this study will provide insight into the effectiveness of movement control exercise and contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms behind MCI and its relation to NSLBP.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN80064281
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-207
PMCID: PMC3189916  PMID: 21943318
8.  The Maastricht Ultrasound Shoulder pain trial (MUST): Ultrasound imaging as a diagnostic triage tool to improve management of patients with non-chronic shoulder pain in primary care 
Background
Subacromial disorders are considered to be one of the most common pathologies affecting the shoulder. Optimal therapy for shoulder pain (SP) in primary care is yet unknown, since clinical history and physical examination do not provide decisive evidence as to the patho-anatomical origin of the symptoms. Optimal decision strategies can be furthered by applying ultrasound imaging (US), an accurate method in diagnosing SP, demonstrating a clear relationship between diagnosis and available therapies. Yet, the clinical cost-effectiveness of applying US in the management of SP in primary care has not been studied. The aim of this paper is to describe the design and methods of a trial assessing the cost-effectiveness of ultrasound imaging as a diagnostic triage tool to improve management of primary care patients with non-chronic shoulder pain.
Methods/Design
This randomised controlled trial (RCT) will involve 226 adult patients with suspected subacromial disorders recruited by general practitioners. During a Qualification period of two weeks, patients receive care as usual as advised by the Dutch College of General Practitioners, and patients are referred for US. Patients with insufficient improvement qualify for the RCT. These patients are then randomly assigned to the intervention or the control group. The therapies used in both groups are the same (corticosteroid injections, referral to a physiotherapist or orthopedic surgeon) except that therapies used in the intervention group will be tailored based on the US results. Ultrasound diagnosed disorders include tendinopathy, calcific tendinitis, partial and full thickness tears, and subacromial bursitis. The primary outcome is patient-perceived recovery at 52 weeks, using the Global Perceived Effect questionnaire. Secondary outcomes are disease specific and generic quality of life, cost-effectiveness, and the adherence to the initial applied treatment. Outcome measures will be assessed at baseline, 13, 26, 39 and 52 weeks after inclusion. An economic evaluation will be performed from both a health care and societal perspective with a time horizon of 52 weeks.
Discussion
The results of this trial will give unique evidence regarding the cost-effectiveness of US as a diagnostic triage tool in the management of SP in primary care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-154
PMCID: PMC3141612  PMID: 21740540
9.  Differences in pain, function and coping in Multidimensional Pain Inventory subgroups of chronic back pain: a one-group pretest-posttest study 
Background
Patients with non-specific back pain are not a homogeneous group but heterogeneous with regard to their bio-psycho-social impairments. This study examined a sample of 173 highly disabled patients with chronic back pain to find out how the three subgroups based on the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI) differed in their response to an inpatient pain management program.
Methods
Subgroup classification was conducted by cluster analysis using MPI subscale scores at entry into the program. At program entry and at discharge after four weeks, participants completed the MPI, the MOS Short Form-36 (SF-36), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CSQ). Pairwise analyses of the score changes of the mentioned outcomes of the three MPI subgroups were performed using the Mann-Whitney-U-test for significance.
Results
Cluster analysis identified three MPI subgroups in this highly disabled sample: a dysfunctional, interpersonally distressed and an adaptive copers subgroup. The dysfunctional subgroup (29% of the sample) showed the highest level of depression in SF-36 mental health (33.4 ± 13.9), the interpersonally distressed subgroup (35% of the sample) a modest level of depression (46.8 ± 20.4), and the adaptive copers subgroup (32% of the sample) the lowest level of depression (57.8 ± 19.1). Significant differences in pain reduction and improvement of mental health and coping were observed across the three MPI subgroups, i.e. the effect sizes for MPI pain reduction were: 0.84 (0.44 - 1.24) for the dysfunctional subgroup, 1.22 (0.86 - 1.58) for the adaptive copers subgroup, and 0.53 (0.24 - 0.81) for the interpersonally distressed subgroup (p = 0.006 for pairwise comparison). Significant score changes between subgroups concerning activities and physical functioning could not be identified.
Conclusions
MPI subgroup classification showed significant differences in score changes for pain, mental health and coping. These findings underscore the importance of assessing individual differences to understand how patients adjust to chronic back pain.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-145
PMCID: PMC3141610  PMID: 21718525
10.  Validation of the western ontario rotator cuff index in patients with arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: A study protocol 
Background
Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is described as being a successful procedure. These results are often derived from clinical general shoulder examinations, which are then classified as 'excellent', 'good', 'fair' or 'poor'. However, the cut-off points for these classifications vary and sometimes modified scores are used.
Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is performed to improve quality of life. Therefore, disease specific health-related quality of life patient-administered questionnaires are needed. The WORC is a quality of life questionnaire designed for patients with disorders of the rotator cuff. The score is validated for rotator cuff disease, but not for rotator cuff repair specifically.
The aim of this study is to investigate reliability, validity and responsiveness of WORC in patients undergoing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.
Methods/Design
An approved translation of the WORC into Dutch is used. In this prospective study three groups of patients are used: 1. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair; 2. Disorders of the rotator cuff without rupture; 3. Shoulder instability.
The WORC, SF-36 and the Constant Score are obtained twice before therapy is started to measure reliability and validity. Responsiveness is tested by obtaining the same tests after therapy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-64
PMCID: PMC3087697  PMID: 21453470
11.  Non-pharmacological care for patients with generalized osteoarthritis: design of a randomized clinical trial 
Background
Non-pharmacological treatment (NPT) is a useful treatment option in the management of hip or knee osteoarthritis. To our knowledge however, no studies have investigated the effect of NPT in patients with generalized osteoarthritis (GOA). The primary aim of this study is to compare the effectiveness of two currently existing health care programs with different intensity and mode of delivery on daily functioning in patients with GOA. The secondary objective is to compare the cost-effectiveness of both interventions.
Methods/Design
In this randomized, single blind, clinical trial with active controls, we aim to include 170 patients with GOA. The experimental intervention consist of six self-management group sessions provided by a multi-disciplinary team (occupational therapist, physiotherapist, dietician and specialized nurse). The active control group consists of two group sessions and four sessions by telephone, provided by a specialized nurse and physiotherapist. Both therapies last six weeks. Main study outcome is daily functioning during the first year after the treatment, assessed on the Health Assessment Questionnaire. Secondary outcomes are health related quality of life, specific complaints, fatigue, and costs. Illness cognitions, global perceived effect and self-efficacy, will also be assessed for a responder analysis. Outcome assessments are performed directly after the intervention, after 26 weeks and after 52 weeks.
Discussion
This article describes the design of a randomized, single blind, clinical trial with a one year follow up to compare the costs and effectiveness of two non-pharmacological interventions with different modes of delivery for patients with GOA.
Trial registration
Dutch Trial Register NTR2137
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-142
PMCID: PMC2907317  PMID: 20594308
12.  Effectiveness of individualized physiotherapy on pain and functioning compared to a standard exercise protocol in patients presenting with clinical signs of subacromial impingement syndrome. A randomized controlled trial 
Background
Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common musculoskeletal complaint leading to significant reduction of health and disability. Physiotherapy is often the first choice of treatment although its effectiveness is still under debate. Systematic reviews in this field highlight the need for more high quality trials to investigate the effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome.
Methods/Design
This randomized controlled trial will investigate the effectiveness of individualized physiotherapy in patients presenting with clinical signs and symptoms of subacromial impingement, involving 90 participants aged 18-75. Participants are recruited from outpatient physiotherapy clinics, general practitioners, and orthopaedic surgeons in Germany. Eligible participants will be randomly allocated to either individualized physiotherapy or to a standard exercise protocol using central randomization.
The control group will perform the standard exercise protocol aiming to restore muscular deficits in strength, mobility, and coordination of the rotator cuff and the shoulder girdle muscles to unload the subacromial space during active movements. Participants of the intervention group will perform the standard exercise protocol as a home program, and will additionally be treated with individualized physiotherapy based on clinical examination results, and guided by a decision tree. After the intervention phase both groups will continue their home program for another 7 weeks.
Outcome will be measured at 5 weeks and at 3 and 12 months after inclusion using the shoulder pain and disability index and patients' global impression of change, the generic patient-specific scale, the average weekly pain score, and patient satisfaction with treatment. Additionally, the fear avoidance beliefs questionnaire, the pain catastrophizing scale, and patients' expectancies of treatment effect are assessed. Participants' adherence to the protocol, use of additional treatments for the shoulder, direct and indirect costs, and sick leave due to shoulder complaints will be recorded in a shoulder log-book.
Discussion
To our knowledge this is the first trial comparing individualized physiotherapy based on a defined decision making process to a standardized exercise protocol. Using high-quality methodologies, this trial will add evidence to the limited body of knowledge about the effect of physiotherapy in patients with SIS.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN86900354
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-114
PMCID: PMC2889850  PMID: 20534140
13.  Hallux valgus angle as main predictor for correction of hallux valgus 
Background
It is recognized that different types of hallux valgus exist. Classification occurs with radiographic and clinical parameters. Severity of different parameters is used in algorithms to choose between different surgical procedures. Because there is no consensus about each parameter nor their cut-off point we conducted this study to analyze the influence of these variables on the postoperative hallux valgus angle.
Methods
After informed consent 115 patients (136 feet) were included. Bunionectomy, osteotomy, lateralization of the distal fragment, lateral release and medial capsulorraphy were performed in all patients. Data were collected on preoperative and postoperative HVA, IMA and DMAA measurements. Forty cases were included since our findings in a previous article [1], therefore, current data concern an expanded study group with longer follow-up and were not published before. At least two-year follow-up data were evaluated with logistic regression and independent t-tests.
Results
Preoperative HVA was significant for prediction of postoperative HVA in logistic regression. IMA and DMAA were not significant for prediction of postoperative HVA in logistic regression, although they were significantly increased in larger deformities. In patients with preoperative HVA of 37 degrees or more, satisfactory correction could be obtained in 65 percent. The other nine of these 26 patients developed subluxation.
Conclusion
The preoperative HVA was the main radiological predictor for correction of hallux valgus, correction rate declined from preoperative HVA of 37. IMA and DMAA did have a minor role in patients with preoperative HVA lower than 37 degrees, however, likely contributed to preoperative HVA of 37 degrees or more.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-9-70
PMCID: PMC2405780  PMID: 18482455
14.  Reproducibility of goniometric measurement of the knee in the in-hospital phase following total knee arthroplasty 
Background
The objective of the present study was to assess interobserver reproducibility (in terms of reliability and agreement) of active and passive measurements of knee RoM using a long arm goniometer, performed by trained physical therapists in a clinical setting in total knee arthroplasty patients, within the first four days after surgery.
Methods
Test-retest analysis
Setting: University hospital departments of orthopaedics and physical therapy
Participants: Two experienced physical therapists assessed 30 patients, three days after total knee arthroplasty.
Main outcome measure: RoM measurement using a long-arm (50 cm) goniometer
Agreement was calculated as the mean difference between observers ± 95% CI of this mean difference. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated as a measure of reliability, based on two-way random effects analysis of variance.
Results
The lowest level of agreement was that for measurement of passive flexion with the patient in supine position (mean difference 1.4°; limits of agreement 16.2° to 19° for the difference between the two observers. The highest levels of agreement were found for measurement of passive flexion with the patient in sitting position and for measurement of passive extension (mean difference 2.7°; limits of agreement -6.7 to 12.1 and mean difference 2.2°; limits of agreement -6.2 to 10.6 degrees, respectively). The ability to differentiate between subjects ranged from 0.62 for measurement of passive extension to 0.89 for measurements of active flexion (ICC values).
Conclusion
Interobserver agreement for flexion as well as extension was only fair. When two different observers assess the same patients in the acute phase after total knee arthroplasty using a long arm goniometer, differences in RoM of less than eight degrees cannot be distinguished from measurement error. Reliability was found to be acceptable for comparison on group level, but poor for individual comparisons over time.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-83
PMCID: PMC2040146  PMID: 17705860
15.  Prevalence of complaints of arm, neck and shoulder among computer office workers and psychometric evaluation of a risk factor questionnaire 
Background
Complaints of Arm Neck and Shoulder (CANS) represent a wide range of complaints, which can differ in severity from mild, periodic symptoms to severe, chronic and debilitating conditions. They are thought to be associated with both physical and psychosocial risk factors. The measurement and identification of the various risk factors for these complaints is an important step towards recognizing (a) high risk subgroups that are relevant in profiling CANS; and (b) also for developing targeted and effective intervention plans for treatment. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of CANS in a Dutch population of computer workers and to develop a questionnaire aimed at measuring workplace physical and psychosocial risk factors for the presence of these complaints.
Methods
To examine potential workplace risk factors for the presence of CANS, the Maastricht Upper Extremity Questionnaire (MUEQ), a structured questionnaire, was developed and tested among 264 computer office workers of a branch office of the national social security institution in the Netherlands. The MUEQ holds 95 items covering demographic characteristics, in addition to seven main domains assessing potential risk factors with regard to (1) work station, (2) posture during work, (3) quality of break time, (4) job demands, (5) job control, and (6) social support. The MUEQ further contained some additional questions about the quality of the work environment and the presence of complaints in the neck, shoulder, upper and lower arm, elbow, hand and wrist. The prevalence rates of CANS in the past year were computed. Further, we investigated the psychometric properties of the MUEQ (i.e. factor structure and reliability).
Results
The one-year prevalence rate of CANS indicated that 54% of the respondents reported at least one complaint in the arm, neck and/or shoulder. The highest prevalence rates were found for neck and shoulder symptoms (33% and 31% respectively), followed by hand and upper arm complaints (11% to 12%) and elbow, lower arm and wrist complaints (6% to 7%). The psychometric properties of the MUEQ were assessed using exploratory factor analysis which resulted in the identification of 12 factors. The calculation of internal consistency and cross validation provided evidence of reliability and lack of redundancy of items.
Conclusion
Neck and shoulder complaints are more frequently reported among Dutch computer workers than arm, elbow and hand complaints. The results further indicate that the MUEQ has satisfactory reliability and internal consistency when used to document CANS among computer workers in the Netherlands.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-68
PMCID: PMC1952062  PMID: 17629925
16.  Adherence to physiotherapy clinical guideline acute ankle injury and determinants of adherence: a cohort study 
Background
Clinical guidelines are considered important instruments to improve quality in health care. In physiotherapy, insight in adherence to guidelines is limited. Knowledge of adherence is important to identify barriers and to enhance implementation. Purpose of this study is to investigate the ability to adherence to recommendations of the guideline Acute ankle injury, and to identify patient characteristics that determine adherence to the guideline.
Methods
Twenty-two physiotherapists collected data of 174 patients in a prospective cohort study, in which the course of treatment was systematically registered. Indicators were used to investigate adherence to recommendations. Patient characteristics were used to identify prognostic factors that may determine adherence to the guideline. Correlation between patient characteristics and adherence to outcome-indicators (treatment sessions, functioning of patient, accomplished goals) was calculated using univariate logistic regression. To calculate explained variance of combined patient characteristics, multivariate analysis was performed.
Results
Adherence to individual recommendations varied from 71% to 100%. In 99 patients (57%) the physiotherapists showed adherence to all indicators. Adherence to preset maximum of six treatment sessions for patients with severe ankle injury was 81% (132 patients).
The odds to receive more than six sessions were statistically significant for three patient characteristics: females (OR:3.89; 95%CI: 1.41–10.72), recurrent sprain (OR: 6.90; 95%CI: 2.34 – 20.37), co-morbidity (OR: 25.92; 95% CI: 6.79 – 98.93). All factors together explained 40% of the variance. Inclusion of physiotherapist characteristics in the regression model showed that work-experience reduced the odds to receive more than six sessions (OR: 0.2; 95%CI: 0.06 – 0.77), and increased explained variance to 45%.
Conclusion
Adherence to the clinical guideline Acute ankle sprain showed that the guideline is applicable in daily practice. Adherence to the guideline, even in a group of physiotherapists familiar with the guideline, showed possibilities for improvement. The necessity to exceed the expected number of treatment sessions may be explained by co-morbidity and recurrent sprains. It is not clear why female patients were treated with more sessions. Experience of the physiotherapist reduced the number of treatment sessions. Quality indicators may be used for audit and feedback as part of the implementation strategy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-45
PMCID: PMC1885796  PMID: 17519040
17.  Efficiency of immediate postoperative inpatient physical therapy following total knee arthroplasty: an RCT 
Background
The main goal of physical therapy treatment (PT) in the clinical stage following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is to prepare patients for discharge from the hospital as soon as possible after their operation. Although aggressive rehabilitation is believed to be important, evidence of effects of different exercise programmes following TKA is limited. This led to the question whether the intensity of PT (once versus twice daily) following TKA affects short-term recovery, measured as range of motion.
Methods
A randomised controlled trial compared an exercise regimen of two sessions per day with a similar programme administered once daily. Primary outcome measure was ROM.
Results
At the time of hospital discharge, there was no difference between the experimental and control groups in range of motion.
Conclusion
This study shows that in our setting twice daily PT sessions do not produce different results as daily PT sessions. It may be questioned whether multiple daily therapy sessions are needed as an in-hospital PT regimen in OA total knee patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-7-71
PMCID: PMC1579215  PMID: 16942627
18.  Effectiveness of a tailor-made intervention for pregnancy-related pelvic girdle and/or low back pain after delivery: Short-term results of a randomized clinical trial [ISRCTN08477490] 
Background
For the moment, scientific evaluation of programs on treatment of pregnancy-related pelvic girdle and/or low back pain after delivery is hardly available with only one study with a positive result, suggesting uncertainty about the optimal approach. Investigators draw particular attention to biomedical factors but there is growing evidence that biopsychosocial factors appear to be even more important as a basis of an intervention program.
Methods
We studied the effectiveness of a tailor-made program with respect to biopsychosocial factors (intervention group) in women with pregnancy-related pelvic girdle and/ or low back pain versus usual care based on a pain contingent basis (control group) shortly after delivery in a randomized controlled trial. Women with severe complaints shortly after delivery were selected from a longitudinal prospective cohort study (n = 7526), aimed at pregnancy-related pelvic girdle and/or low back pain in the Netherlands. A concealed block randomization was performed after collecting baseline data. Researchers were blinded to treatment assignment. Outcomes were evaluated within the domains of the biopsychosocial approach. Primary outcome concerned limitations in activities (RDQ). Follow-up measurements were performed 12 weeks after delivery.
Results
Since May 2001 until July 2003, 869 women out of the cohort made a request for treatment by a physiotherapist, 10 days after delivery. Because of a quick recovery in two weeks time, we included only 126 women three weeks after delivery. There was a statistically significant and clinically relevant difference in improvement on the primary outcome (RDQ) between the two groups in favor of the experimental intervention.
Conclusion
The results favored the hypotheses. Women's worries about their condition were major targets in the experimental intervention. The prognosis after delivery, especially in de first weeks, turned out to be favorable.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-7-19
PMCID: PMC1420299  PMID: 16504165
19.  Effectiveness of prolonged use of continuous passive motion (CPM) as an adjunct to physiotherapy following total knee arthroplasty: Design of a randomised controlled trial [ISRCTN85759656] 
Background
Adequate and intensive rehabilitation is an important requirement for successful Total Knee Arthroplasty. The primary focus of early rehabilitation is ambulation of patients and regaining range of motion in the knee.
Although research suggests that Continuous Passive Motion should be implemented in the first rehabilitation phase following surgery, there is substantial debate about the duration of each session and the total period of CPM application and. A Cochrane review on this topic concluded that short-term use of CPM leads to greater short-term range of motion. It also suggested, however, that future research should concentrate on the treatment period during which CPM should be administered.
Methods
In a randomised controlled trial we intend to investigate the efficacy of prolonged use of a continuous passive motion (CPM) device in the home situation as an adjunct to standardised physical therapy. The experimental treatment is compared to standardised physical therapy, in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee undergoing Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA). Efficacy will be assessed in terms of faster improvements in range of motion and functional recovery.
Seventy patients with knee osteoarthritis undergoing TKA and experiencing early postoperative flexion impairment (less than 80° of knee flexion at the time of discharge) will be randomised over two treatment groups, a usual care group and an experimental group
The experimental group will receive CPM + physiotherapy for 17 consecutive days after surgery, whereas the usual care group will receive the same treatment during the in-hospital phase (i.e. about four days), followed by physical therapy alone (usual care) in the first two weeks after hospital discharge.
From 18 days to three months after discharge, both groups will receive standardised PT. The primary focus of rehabilitation will be functional recovery (e.g. ambulation) and regaining range of motion (ROM) in the knee.
Discussion
Because restricted knee ROM affects functional activities, knee ROM and knee function are regarded as the primary indicators of successful TKA. Potential effects of the intervention under study include rapid return of knee flexion accompanied by earlier return to functional activities of daily life. If patients benefit significantly from prolonged CPM use, this treatment should be added to the standard PT treatment at home.
We expect the additional home CPM programme to be more effective than the usual physiotherapy programme, resulting in a difference in ROM of at least 5°, 17 days after surgery. This clinically important difference, with a possible flexion ROM of about 100°, is expected to lead to better functioning in activities of daily life, like walking, and earlier ability to cycle. These advantages should result in earlier and increasing independence.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-7-15
PMCID: PMC1403777  PMID: 16504087
20.  Rationale and design of a multicenter randomized controlled trial on a 'minimal intervention' in Dutch army personnel with nonspecific low back pain [ISRCTN19334317] 
Background
Researchers from the Royal Netherlands Army are studying the potential of isolated lumbar extensor training in low back pain in their working population. Currently, a randomized controlled trial is carried out in five military health centers in The Netherlands and Germany, in which a 10-week program of not more than 2 training sessions (10–15 minutes) per week is studied in soldiers with nonspecific low back pain for more than 4 weeks. The purpose of the study is to investigate the efficacy of this 'minimal intervention program', compared to usual care. Moreover, attempts are made to identify subgroups of different responders to the intervention.
Methods
Besides a baseline measurement, follow-up data are gathered at two short-term intervals (5 and 10 weeks after randomization) and two long-term intervals (6 months and one year after the end of the intervention), respectively. At every test moment, participants fill out a compound questionnaire on a stand-alone PC, and they undergo an isometric back strength measurement on a lower back machine.
Primary outcome measures in this study are: self-assessed degree of complaints and degree of handicap in daily activities due to back pain. In addition, our secondary measurements focus on: fear of movement/(re-) injury, mental and social health perception, individual back extension strength, and satisfaction of the patient with the treatment perceived. Finally, we assess a number of potential prognostic factors: demographic and job characteristics, overall health, the degree of physical activity, and the attitudes and beliefs of the physiotherapist towards chronic low back pain.
Discussion
Although a substantial number of trials have been conducted that included lumbar extension training in low back pain patients, hardly any study has emphasized a minimal intervention approach comparable to ours. For reasons of time efficiency and patient preferences, this minimal sports medicine approach of low back pain management is interesting for the population under study, and possibly for comparable working populations with physical demanding job activities.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-5-40
PMCID: PMC533884  PMID: 15535881

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