Evelien H. W. Hoevenaars, Michiel Beekhuizen, John O’Dowd, Maarten Spruit, Miranda L. van Hooff

March 2022, pp 1 - 8 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-022-07156-4

First Online: 24 March 2022


No evidence-based treatment exists for adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP). Aim of this study: evaluate a combined physical and psychological programme (CPPP) for ASD patients with CLBP and to compare this with a non-ASD-cohort with CLBP.


Data were extracted from the database of CLBP-patients for whom surgery is not an option and completed CPPP. Two cohorts were selected: an ASD-cohort (n = 80) based on a Cobb angle of > 10° and a consecutive age- and gender-matched non-ASD-cohort (n = 240). Primary outcome: functional status (Oswestry Disability Index; ODI). Secondary outcomes: pain intensity, self-efficacy and quality of life. Assessments: pre and post treatment, one-month and one-year follow-up (FU). Clinical relevance: minimal important clinical change (MCIC; ODI 10 points), patient acceptable symptom state (PASS; ODI ≤ 22).


Demographics ASD-cohort: 79% female, mean age 50.9 (± 14.1) years, mean CLBP duration 15.5 (± 12.5) years, mean Cobb angle 21.4 (± 9.4)°. Non-ASD-cohort: not significantly different. Both cohorts improved in functional status (F[1,318] = 142.982, p < .001; r = 0.31). The ASD-cohort improved from mean ODI 39.5(± 12.0) at baseline to mean ODI 31.8(± 16.5) at one-year FU. Clinical relevance: 51% of the ASD patients reached MCIC and 33% reached a PASS. An interaction effect is shown between time and both cohorts (F[1,318] = 8.2, p = .004; r = 0.03); however, not clinically relevant. All secondary outcomes: improvement at one-year FU.


This is the first study showing beneficial outcomes of a non-surgical treatment in selected ASD patients with longstanding CLBP. Improvement is shown in functional status, and appeared equivalent to the non-ASD cohort.

Level of Evidence 1

Diagnostic: individual cross-sectional studies with the consistently applied reference standard and blinding.

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