The study involved splitting the 600 participants into two groups. 400 hundred then went on to undergo six group therapy sessions, and the remaining 200 received standard care. Both groups were monitored for a year.
The group therapy sessions were based upon a similar premise to that of cognitive behavioural therapy, which aims to tackle unhelpful or negative beliefs. In the case of back pain, patients were set up to discuss beliefs around participating in physical activity to counter negative thoughts surrounding back pain and the restrictions it brings. The group therapy also involved relaxation techniques.
The idea of the sessions was to help patients overcome their fear of hurting themselves so that they could become active once again and reduce the risk of flare-ups.
One year on and the individuals who underwent the therapy sessions achieved notably better scores on questionnaires which were designed to measure their level of disability and pain, compared to those who received standard care only.
View the original BBC News article.