501: A digital decision support system (selfBACK) for improved self-management of low back pain: a pilot study with 6-week follow-up

Sandal LF, Øverås CK, Nordstoga AL, Wood K, Bach K, Hartvigsen J, Søgaard K, Mork PJ.
Pilot and Feasibility Studies. 2020;6:72.


Background: Very few of the publicly available apps directed towards self-management of low back pain (LBP) have been rigorously tested and their theoretical underpinnings seldom described. The selfBACK app was developed in collaboration with end-users and clinicians and its content is supported by best evidence on self-management of LBP. The objectives of this pilot study were to investigate the basis for recruitment and screening procedures for the subsequent randomized controlled trial (RCT), to test the inclusion process in relation to questionnaires and app installation, and finally to investigate the change in primary outcome over time.

Methods: This single-armed pilot study enrolled 51 participants who had sought help for LBP of any duration from primary care (physiotherapy, chiropractic, or general practice) within the past 8 weeks. Participants were screened for eligibility using the PROMIS-Physical-Function-4a questionnaire. Participants were asked to use the selfBACK app for 6 weeks. The app provided weekly tailored self-management plans targeting physical activity, strength and flexibility exercises, and education. The construction of the self-management plans was achieved using case-based reasoning (CBR) methodology to capture and reuse information from previous successful cases. Participants completed the primary outcome pain-related disability (Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire [RMDQhttps://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03697759.

Keywords: App; Artificial intelligence; Case-based reasoning; Low back pain; Recommender system; Self-management; mHealth.

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