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The Alberta Back Pain Initiative Study: Evaluation of a Population Based Social Marketing Intervention for the Prevention of Disability Associated with Back Pain

This research project was designed to evaluate a back pain media campaign currently being run in Alberta. The researchers evaluated the campaign in terms of its impact on back pain beliefs, health care use, and work-related disability

The researchers evaluated a social marketing campaign conducted by the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta and its partners, to educate the public about optimal management of back pain, particularly the importance of staying active. To assess whether public beliefs about back pain improved as a result of the intervention, telephone interviews were conducted with members of the public. Workers’ compensation and health care data were also analyzed to determine if there were changes to back pain related health care visits and work disability

The study found no statistically significant changes in back pain related health care use or workers’ compensation claim incidence or duration. However, there was a small increase in the proportion of Albertans agreeing with the statement that “If you have back pain you should try to stay active” – the core theme of the campaign

Principal Investigator: Douglas Gross (University of Alberta)
Co-investigators: Anthony Russell, Robert Ferrari, Michelle Battie (University of Alberta)
Funding Awarded: $92,000 (2 years)*

In partnership with the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board

Competition Year: 2006 File type: PDF (890 KB) Asset type: Research Research: RS2006-OG03