Table 1:

Characteristics of included studies

StudySettingGeographic areaNo. of participantsAge inclusion criteria, yrOnset of pain before study entryPain duration category for meta-analysis*Outcomes extractedFollow-up
Bakker et al., 2007 (91)General practiceNetherlands97No info< 6 wkAcutePain (NRS 0–10), recovery rates6 mo
Basinski et al., 2022 (83)Emergency department of the University Clinical CentrePoland11018–65< 3 moRecovery rates3 mo
Ben Ami et al., 2020 (40)Three outpatient physical therapy clinicsIsrael150≥ 18< 12 wkSubacutePain (NPRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24)3 mo
Besen et al., 2015; (56) Carstens et al., 2014; (43) Shaw et al., 2013; (36) Shaw et al., 2011 (65)Private medical occupational clinicsUnited States496≥ 18< 14 dAcutePain (NPRS 0–10), disability (QBPDS 0–100)1 wk and 3 mo
Bousema et al., 2007 (92)General practice and advertisementNetherlands12418–604–7 wkAcutePain (VAS 0–100), disability (QBPDQ 0%–100%), recovery rates12 mo
Breen et al., 2011 (37)Two primary care trust localitiesEngland9718–65< 12 wkAcutePain (NRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24)8 wk
Carey et al., 1995; (93) Sundararajan et al., 1998 (94)Urban and rural primary care and chiropractic, orthopedic and neurosurgery practice and health maintenance organizationUnited States1633No info< 10 wkRecovery rates2, 4, 8, 12 and 24 wk
Carey et al., 2000 (95)Urban and rural primary care and chiropractic, orthopedic and neurosurgery practice, and health maintenance organizationUnited States96≥ 1812–22 wkPersistentDisability (RMDQ 0–23), recovery rates18 mo
Costa et al., 2009 (96)Primary care (general practitioners, physiotherapists and chiropractors)Australia379≥ 1412 wkPersistentPain (1–6), disability (1–5), recovery rates9 and 12 mo
Coste et al., 1994 (97)Primary careFrance103≥ 18< 72 hAcutePain (VAS 0–100), disability (RMDQ 0–24), recovery rates8 and 15 d; 1, 2 and 3 mo
Coste et al., 2004 (98)Primary care or rheumatologyFrance113≥ 18< 72 hAcutePain (VAS 0–100), disability (RMDQ 0–24), recovery rates8 and 15 d; 1, 2 and 3 mo
Elfering et al., 2014; (44) Melloh et al., 2011; (39) Melloh et al., 2012; (72) Melloh et al., 2013; (57) Melloh et al., 2013; (71) Melloh et al., 2013; (68) Melloh et al., 2013; (69) Melloh et al., 2015; (73) Melloh et al., 2015 (70)Primary careNew Zealand31518–65< 12 wkAcutePain (VAS 0–100), disability (ODI 0–100), recovery rates3, 6 and 12 wk; 6 mo
Epping-Jordan et al., 1998; (99) Shaw et al., 2007; (100) Wahlgren et al., 1997; (101) Williams et al., 1998 (102)Naval medical centreUnited States14018–506–10 wkSubacutePain (DDS 0–20), disability (SIP 0%–100%), recovery rates6 and 12 mo (after pain onset)
Faber et al., 2006 (103)General practice and occupational healthNetherlands103No info3–12 wkNone3 and 6 mo
Ferguson et al., 2000; (105) Ferguson et al., 2001 (104)Primary and urgent care facilitiesUnited States32No info< 4 wkAcutePain (0–5), disability (VAS 0–150), recovery rates2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 wk
Gatchel et al., 1995; (106) Gatchel et al., 1995 (107)Industrial medicine clinic and orthopedic practicesUnited States421No info< 6 wkNone6 and 12 mo
Grotle et al., 2005; (109) Grotle et al., 2007 (108)Primary careNorway12318–60< 3 wkAcutePain (NRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24), recovery rates1, 2, 3 and 4 wk; 3, 6, 9 and 12 mo
Gurcay et al., 2009 (110)Tertiary care referral hospitalTurkey99No info< 3 wkRecovery rates1, 2, 4, 8 and 12 wk
Hallegraeff et al., 2020; (41) Hallegraeff et al., 2021 (79)Primary care physiotherapy practicesNetherlands20418–60< 6 wkAcutePain (NPRS 0–10), disability (PDI 0–70)12 wk
Hasenbring et al., 2012 (111)General or orthopedic practiceGermany177≥ 18< 12 wkAcutePain (NRS 0–10), disability (PDI 0–10)6 mo
Hazard et al., 1996; (112) Reid et al., 1997 (113)Vermont Department of Labor and IndustryUnited States16618–60Within 11 d of low-back painNone3 mo
Hendrick et al., 2013 (42)Public advertising within primary care (physiotherapy clinics, general practice), and newspaper advertisementsNew Zealand9118–65≤ 6 wkAcutePain (VAS 0–100), disability (RMDQ 0–24)3 mo
Heneweer et al., 2007 (114)Primary care physical therapy centresNetherlands8021–60< 12 wkSubacutePain (VAS 0–100), disability (QBPDQ 0%–100%), recovery rates2, 4, 8 and 12 wk
Henschke et al., 2008 (115)Primary care (general practitioners, physiotherapists and chiropractors)Australia969≥ 14> 24 h but < 2 wkAcutePain (1–6), disability (1–5), recovery rates6 wk; 3 and 12 mo
Jenkins et al., 2022; (90) Jenkins et al., 2023 (89)Local hospitals, primary care, newspapers/online advertisements, flyers and social mediaAustralia120No info> 24 h but < 6 wkAcutePain (NRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ), recovery rates6 mo
Karran et al., 2017 (49)Spinal outpatient clinic at public hospitalAustralia18918–75< 12 moSubacute and persistentPain (NRS 0–10), disability (NRS 0–10), recovery rates4 mo
Klenerman et al., 1995 (116)General practiceEngland300No info< 1 wkRecovery rates2 and 12 mo
Klyne et al., 2018; (62) Klyne et al., 2020; (75) Klyne et al., 2020; (77) Klyne et al., 2022; (82) Klyne et al., 2022 (85)Local community, social media and recruitment agencyAustralia13318–50Within 2 wkAcutePain (NRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24), recovery rates3, 6, 9 and 12 mo
Knoop et al., 2022 (88)Primary care (physiotherapists)Netherlands24718–85≤ 1 moAcutePain (NRS 0–10), recovery rates2 wk and 3 mo
Koleck et al., 2006 (117)General practiceFrance99No info10–90 dSubacutePain (VAS 0–10), recovery rates12 mo
Kovacs et al., 2005 (118)Primary care centresSpain366No info< 12 wkAcutePain (VAS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24)2 and 8 wk
Lehmann et al., 1993 (119)Occupational medicineUnited States6018–652–6 wkNone6 mo
Machado et al., 2016; (59) Pozzobon et al., 2019 (60)Primary care (physiotherapists, general practitioners and chiropractors)Australia999No info< 1 wkRecovery rates6 wk; 3 and 12 mo
Medeiros et al., 2018 (50)Emergency departmentBrazil20018–80< 6 wkAcutePain (NPRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24), recovery rates6 and 26 wk
Mehling et al., 2011; (51) Mehling et al., 2012; (58) Mehling et al., 2015; (52) Mehling et al., 2015 (63)Primary care — members of the largest health maintenance organizationUnited States60518–70Up to 30 dAcutePain (NRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24), recovery rates6 mo and 2 yr
Morf et al., 2021 (76)Hospitals, private physiotherapy practices and university campusSwitzerland10318–65< 4 wkAcutePain (NRS 0–10), disability (ODI 0–100)3 and 6 mo
Muller et al., 2019 (45)Primary careSwitzerland130No info< 6 wkRecovery rates6 mo
Poiraudeau et al., 2006 (120)Rheumatologist practicesFrance44318+4–12 wkSubacutePain (0–4), disability (QBPDQ 0–20), recovery rates3 mo
Ranger et al., 2020 (84)SpineData registry (Denmark)Denmark511No info2–12 moSubacute and persistentPain (NRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–23 — Danish version)12 mo
Reeser et al., 2001 (121)Primary and tertiary care facilitiesUnited States36818–65< 6 wkAcuteDisability (MODEMS 0–100)6 wk; 3 and 12 mo
Schiottz-Christensen et al., 1999 (122)General practicesDenmark52418–60< 14 dRecovery rates1, 6 and 12 mo
Schulz et al., 2016 (54)Emergency departmentAustralia2918–65< 3 moSubacutePain (NPRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24)2 and 6 wk
Seyedmehdi et al., 2016 (64)Occupational setting (rubber factory)Iran511No info< 2 wkRecovery rates3, 6, 9 and 12 mo
Sharpe et al., 2014 (67)Physiotherapy clinics, general practice and newspaper advertisementsAustralia10018–75< 3 moAcutePain (VAS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24), recovery rates3 and 6 mo
Shaw et al., 2005; (124) Shaw et al., 2007; (123) Shaw et al., 2009; (125) Shaw et al., 2012; (53) Shaw et al., 2018 (55)Community-based occupational health clinicsUnited States568≥ 18< 14 dAcutePain (VAS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–100)1 and 3 mo
Shaw et al., 2011 (46)Community-based medical clinicsUnited States97≥ 18< 14 dAcutePain (NPRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–100), recovery rates1 and 3 mo
Shojaei et al., 2020 (61)Primary physician referralUnited States29No info< 3 moSubacutePain (Wisconsin brief pain inventory 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24)3 and 6 mo
Sieben et al., 2002 (126)General practicesNetherlands and Belgium3418–65< 2 wkAcuteDisability (RMDQ 0–24)2 wk; 3 and 12 mo
Sieben et al., 2005 (127)General practicesNetherlands22018–60< 3 wkAcutePain (VAS 0–100), disability (QBPDQ 0–100)3, 6 and 12 mo
Soares Oliveira et al., 2021 (81)Emergency department in 4 public hospitalsBrazil60018–80< 6 wkAcutePain (0–10 NPRS), disability (RMDQ 0–24), recovery rates6 wk; 3, 6 and 12 mo
Starkweather et al., 2016; (66) Bernier Carney et al., 2021 (80)University health systemMid-Atlantic region (United States)4818–50< 4 wkAcute
Pain (MPQ 0–100), disability (RMDQ 0–24), recovery rates6 wk and 6 mo
Suri et al., 2011 (38)Outpatient clinicsUnited States47≥ 18≤ 3 moAcutePain (NPRS 0–10), disability (ODI 0–100)6 wk
Swinkels-Meewisse et al., 2006 (130)General practice and physiotherapy practiceNetherlands54618–65< 4 wkAcutePain (VAS 0–100), disability (RMDQ 0–24)6 wk and 6 mo
Tan et al., 2018 (47)Emergency departmentSingapore177≥ 21< 1 moAcutePain (NPRS 0–10), recovery rates6 wk and 6 mo
Thomas and France, 2008 (128)Public advertisingUnited States43No info< 4 wkAcutePain (MPQ 0–5), disability (RMDQ 0–24)6 and 12 wk
Valat et al., 2000 (129)General practice and rheumatologist practiceFrance249320–55< 1 wkRecovery rates7 ± 1 wk of follow-up
Zille Queiroz et al., 2017; (48) Felicio et al., 2021; (78) Teixeira et al., 2021; (74) Silva et al., 2022; (87) Rocha et al., 2023 (86)Advertisements in local newspapers, community centres, radio, internet and referral by health care professionals from primary care settingsBrazil500≥ 60< 6 wkAcutePain (NRS 0–10), disability (RMDQ 0–24 — Brazillian version), recovery rates6 wk; 3, 6, 9 and 12 mo
  • Note: DDS = Descriptor Differential Scale, MODEMS = Musculoskeletal Outcomes Data Evaluation and Management System, MPQ = McGill Pain Questionnaire, NPRS = Numerical Pain Rating Scale, NPS = Numerical Pain Scale, NRS = Numerical Rating Scale, ODI = Oswestry Disability Index, PDI = Pain Disability Inventory, QBPDQ = Quebec Back Pain Disability Questionnaire, RMDQ = Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, SIP = Sickness Impact Profile, VAS = visual analogue scale.

  • * Pain duration categories for meta-analysis: acute low back pain = < 6 weeks; subacute low back pain = 6 to less than 12 weeks; and persistent low back pain = 12 to less than 52 weeks.