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Medical, Social and Economic Aspects of the Management of Chronic Low-back Pain

Author(s): Haumesser D | Becker P | Grosso-Lebon B | Weill G

Journal: Revue m├ędicale de l'assurance maladie
ISSN 0767-2004

Volume: 35;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 27;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: low-back pain | cost of medical care | quality of life | evaluation | pain.

Aims: To describe the management of patients suffering from low-back pain for more than 3 months and determine the consequences for the patient as well as the cost for the healthcare fund. Method: We performed a retrospective study involving beneficiaries affiliated with the Metz local health agency (Moselle, France) who were on sickleave for chronic low-back pain for more than 3 months since January 1, 1998. Family members of affiliates who were eligible for benefits and patients older than 65 years old and not on sick leave were excluded from the study. The parameters studied were: types of medical management, consequences (pain, quality of life, socio-professional outcome) and cost of treatment. Results: We enrolled 95 of the 100 patients initially selected. 29.5% of the patients had no risk factor for this disorder. All of the patients had a lumbar CAT scan. Surgical intervention was performed in 87.4% of the cases. The average overall cost per patient was 15,679 euros. The average sick-leave lasted 351 days and 44.2% of the patients were able to resume their previous employment. Following treatment, 84.2% of the patients considered that they were improved. Conclusion: The management of these patients required a heavy investment on the part of the entire health care system. Nevertheless, the patients still experienced serious reductions in their quality of life and their professional careers.
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