Table 2

Background information related to the development of the guidelines

CountryGuideline CommitteeTarget groupPresentationEvidence base
Canada (Quebec)Multidisciplinary: Epidemiology, Community Medicine, Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, Rheumatology, Health Economics, Orthopaedics, Law, Occupational Medicine, Neurosurgery, Occupational Therapy, Biomechanical Engineering, Ergonomics, Biostatistics, Library Sciences.Health care professionals, professionals in allied fields who assess and treat disabled workers, members of organisations interested in occupational health and safety.Report: publication in journal.4Comprehensive literature search, weighing of the evidence based on type and quality of studies.
Australia (Victoria)Multidisciplinary: Orthopaedics, Rehabilitation Medicine, Workers compensation management, Representative of union of workers, General practice.Practitioners managing work related LBP.Guideline document: guideline is a revised version of guidelines developed by the South Australian WorkCover Corporation in October 1993.Recommendations supported by references or based on consensus and common practice, no explicit weighing of evidence.
USADeveloped by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.Physicians and other health care providers, consumers in occupational health.Publication in a book of guidelines for (mainly) musculoskeletal complaints.Comprehensive literature search, weighing of the evidence based on number and quality of studies, use of consensus in case of absence of evidence.
New ZealandMultidisciplinary: Physiotherapy, General practice, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Occupational Therapy, Ergonomics, Orthopaedics, Representatives of employers’ associations and trade unions.Employer, worker, treatment providers.Separate guidelines for the management of LBP in the workplace,7 and for the assessment of psychosocial “yellow flags”.9 Patient booklet.8There is no information in either guideline on search strategies and there are hardly any links between recommendations and references. Management suggestions outlined in the “yellow flags” guideline are reported to be based on the best available evidence to date.9
NetherlandsSingle discipline: occupational physicians.Occupational physicians.Guideline document.Recommendations supported by references or based on consensus, no explicit weighing of evidence.
UKMultidisciplinary: Occupational Medicine, Orthopaedics, Ergonomics, Physiotherapy, General Practice, Nursing, Government policy, Scientific adviser.Occupational health practitioners.Guideline documents,11 evidence review,13 leaflet for practitioners,12 separate guide for people at work and employers, and patient booklet (The Back Book).14Comprehensive literature search, weighing of the evidence based on number and quality of studies (3-star system), recommendations directly linked to relevant studies, some recommendations based on good practice (legally or by consensus).