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The effect of visual feedback on people suffering from chronic back and neck pain -- a systematic review
Heinrich M, Steiner S, Bauer CM
Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 2019 Feb 13:Epub ahead of print
systematic review

OBJECTIVES: Visual feedback as an intervention for people suffering from chronic back or chronic neck pain is a novel approach based on the person's perception of the painful body part. Visual feedback is an innovative therapeutic approach whose effects have not yet been systematically reviewed specifically for people with chronic back or chronic neck pain. Therefore, a systematic review was performed on the literature to evaluate the effects of visual feedback on pain intensity in people with chronic back or neck pain. METHODS: This systematic review investigated the magnitude and clinical relevance of the reported effects, as well as the reporting quality of the included studies. Pain intensity was defined as the outcome of interest to judge the clinical relevance of the findings. The quality of reporting and the risk of bias were assessed. RESULTS: The original search revealed 359 studies of which five were included following screening of the title and abstract, application of the inclusion/exclusion criteria and reading the full texts. All five studies had investigated chronic back pain. Most studies showed either a momentary decrease of pain intensity during the application of a visual feedback method or a habitual decrease after treatment for 2 weeks. DISCUSSION: While visual feedback does appear to alter pain intensity in people with chronic back pain, there is limited evidence from these studies to support visual feedback as an adjunct to therapy. These issues point out that future studies may be indicated.

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