Challenges to early prevention and intervention: Personal experiences with adherence

Carla Pulliam, Robert J. Gatchel, Richard C. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe potential adherence-related difficulties encountered in the implementation of a secondary prevention, early intervention study with acute low back pain patients. An additional goal is to provide recommendations, based on the authors' experience, on how best to overcome these potential obstacles for future research. Design: The study used a predictive algorithm, identified through previous research, to identify which patients presenting with acute low back pain were at risk for developing chronic problems. These subjects were then treated prophylactically with an interdisciplinary intervention. Specific difficulties initially encountered during the pilot stage of implementation of this intervention included securing adequate physician referrals to the study and helping patients to progress through treatment in the most efficient manner. Conclusions: Potential difficulties are discussed in the contextual framework of treatment adherence and factors affecting it, including the impact of personality factors, satisfaction, comprehension, side effects, financial issues, length of treatment, type of regimen, social issues, patient beliefs, and biologic factors. It is hoped that the present authors' experience will enable future investigators to anticipate these common problems, and structure their research endeavors accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-120
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Adherence
  • Back pain
  • Early intervention
  • Secondary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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