Feasibility of a stratified blended physiotherapy intervention for patients with non-specific low back pain: a mixed methods study

Authors Mark van Tilburg, Corelien Kloek, Bart Staal, Daniël Bossen, Cindy Veenhof
Published in Physiotherapy theory and practice
Publication date 20 May 2020
Research groups Innovation of Movement Care
Type Article


Introduction: Integrating web-based or mobile components and face-to-face components within a treatment process is called blended care. As part of the participatory development of a blended physiotherapeutic intervention for patients with low back pain (e-Exercise LBP), a proof of concept study was carried out and showed promising results. Objective: To investigate the feasibility of the e-Exercise LBP prototype for patients and physiotherapists to improve the intervention. Methods: A mixed methods study was executed, embedded in the development phase of e-Exercise LBP. 21 physiotherapists treated 41 patients with e-Exercise LBP. Quantitative data consisted of: patients' satisfaction on a five-point Likert Scale; patients' and physiotherapists' experienced usability of the web-based application (System Usability Scale) and; patients' experiences with e-Exercise LBP (closed-ended questions and statements related to the elements and goals of e-Exercise LBP). Semi-structured interviews about experiences with e-Exercise LBP were conducted with seven patients and seven physiotherapists. Qualitative data were analyzed by a phenomenological approach. Quantitative data were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Results: Patients were satisfied with e-Exercise LBP (mean: 4.0; SD:0.8; range: extreme dissatisfaction (1)-extreme satisfaction (5)). Usability of the web-based application was acceptable (patients: mean: 73.2 (SD:16.3); physiotherapists: mean: 63.3 (SD:12.0); range: 0-100). Interviews revealed that physiotherapists' training is essential to successfully integrate the web-based application and face-to-face sessions within physiotherapy treatment. Also, patients addressed the need of reminder messages to support long-term (exercise) adherence. Conclusion: e-Exercise LBP appeared to be feasible. However, various prerequisites and points of improvement were mentioned to improve physiotherapists' training and the prototype.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Physiotherapy theory and practice
Key words low back pain, feasibility, physical therapy modalities, telemedicine

Mark van Tilburg

Mark van Tilburg | Researcher | Research group Innovation of Movement Care

Mark van Tilburg

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Innovation of Movement Care