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Effect of perioperative pain neuroscience education in people undergoing surgery for lumbar radiculopathy

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:a multicentre randomised controlled trial

BACKGROUND: Perioperative education should be improved to decrease unfavourable outcomes after lumbar surgery. This trial aimed to compare effectiveness in terms of pain, quality of life, pain cognition, surgical experience, healthcare use, work resumption, and cost-effectiveness of perioperative pain neuroscience education (PPNE) vs traditional biomedical education (perioperative biomedical education [PBE]) in people undergoing surgery for lumbar radiculopathy.

METHODS: In this multicentre RCT (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02630732), patients undergoing surgery for lumbar radiculopathy in three Belgian hospitals were randomised to receive PPNE or PBE. Both groups received one preoperative and one postoperative one-to-one education session and a booklet (balanced interventions), with an essentially different content (PPNE: biopsychosocial; PBE: biomedical). Pain was the primary outcome (Visual Analogue Scales+quantitative sensory testing). Assessments were at 3 days, 6 weeks, and 6 and 12 months after surgery.

RESULTS: Between March 2016 and April 2020, participants were randomly assigned to PPNE (n=58) or PBE (n=62). At 12 months, PPNE did not lead to significantly better pain outcomes, but it did result in more favourable 36-item Short Form Health Survey physical component (additional increase: 46.94; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 14.16-79.73; medium effect), Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (additional decrease: 3.15; 95% CI: 0.25-6.04; small effect), and Pain Catastrophising Scale (additional decrease: 6.18; 95% CI: 1.97-10.39; medium effect) scores. Females of the PPNE group showed higher probability for work resumption (95% vs 60% in the PBE group). PPNE was cost-effective compared with PBE (incremental costs: €-2732; incremental quality-adjusted life years: 0.012).

CONCLUSIONS: Perioperative pain neuroscience education showed superior clinical and cost-effectiveness than perioperative biomedical education in people undergoing surgery for lumbar radiculopathy.


Journal: British Journal of Anaesthesia
ISSN: 0007-0912
Issue: 3
Volume: 131
Pages: 572-585
Publication year:2023
Keywords:lumbar radiculopathy, lumbar surgery, pain education, pain management, pain neuroscience education, prehabilitation