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October/November 2008 (vol. 05/3)

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Research Plus

Manual handling Cochrane review

The latest OH Cochrane review finds that neither training workers about ‘correct’ material handling techniques, nor providing them with assistive devices are, by themselves, effective in preventing back pain or pain-related disability. Six randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and five cohort studies were identified up to summer 2005. Two of the RCTs and all five cohort studies were considered as ‘high-quality’ evidence. There was moderate evidence that advice and training are no more effective at preventing back pain or pain-related disability than either no intervention or minor advice; limited evidence that advice and training are no more effective than physical exercise or back belt use in preventing back pain; and limited evidence that advice plus assistive devices are no more effective than advice alone, or no intervention, in preventing back pain or pain-related disability.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007; 3: CD005958. 

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Occupational Health at Work October/November 2008 (vol. 05/3) pp40