The STarTBack stratification tool for lower back pain
18 Oct 2018

The STarTBack stratification tool for lower back pain

Published Date: 18 Oct 2018

Over 300 physiotherapists have now been trained in the use of the STarTBack tool in the UK. As a result of being embedded within the local Sustainability and Transformation Proposal (STP), over 30 GP practices have now installed the STarTBack tool in North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, with 35 more organisations engaged nationally and a further 20 internationally. For example, this has included a collaboration with one of CLAHRC WM's industry partners Kaiser Permanente in Seattle starting in June 2017 to deliver stratified care for low back pain with the aim to identify further training resources for clinicians and patients. Other notable achievements in the last 12 months include:

STarTBack has been adopted into both NICE guidance and the German Lower Back Pain guidance. It has been highlighted by PHE as having a positive return on investment as well as featuring in a number of academic publications, and was included in a Lancet series on the global burden of lower back pain in 2018.

Contribution of CLAHRC West Midlands

CLAHRC WM has played an important role across the lifespan of the STarTBack programme. Firstly, through helping to build the evidence base and economic evaluation of cost-effectiveness. Secondly, through supporting adoption and spread in the West Midlands through CLAHRC WM's matched funding partners and in conjunction with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN). Thirdly, through highlighting this work nationally through the national CLAHRC network, central NIHR infrastructure and through the national AHSN network. Finally, through our international links (such as International Scientific Advisors), the CLAHRC has helped promote the adoption of the model internationally.

What happened next?

STarTBack has been adopted into both NICE guidance and the German Lower Back Pain guidance. It has been highlighted by PHE as having a positive return on investment as well as featuring in a number of academic publications, and was included in a Lancet series on the global burden of lower back pain in 2018. The tool has continued to see international adoption with multiple translations to other languages and training courses delivered overseas. It has also seen industry collaboration with health partners such as Kaiser Permanente and with occupational health teams in companies such as British Airways.