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Home Exercise Programs Are Infrequently Prescribed in Trials of Supervised Exercise for Individuals With Low Back Pain: A Scoping Review of 292 Randomized Controlled Trials.

OBJECTIVES: To (1) determine how often home exercise programs (HEPs) are prescribed in supervised exercise trials for low back pain (LBP) and (2) describe characteristics of the HEP programs (design, purpose, dose, and adherence). DESIGN: Scoping review. LITERATURE SEARCH: PubMed, CINAHL, and Ovid MEDLINE were searched from January 1, 2010, to August 17, 2021. STUDY SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials that included adults with LBP who received exercise interventions. DATA SYNTHESIS: The presence or absence of a prescribed HEP and any details of the HEP including design, dose, and adherence were extracted and summarized. RESULTS: Of 2689 potentially relevant trials, 292 were eligible for inclusion. Ninety-four trials (32%) included a HEP. The most commonly prescribed home exercises were core stability, trunk strengthening, and motor control exercises. There was great variation in the frequency and duration with which HEPs were prescribed. Adherence to HEPs was measured in fewer than half of the trials, and the methods for measuring adherence were inconsistent. Adherence to HEPs ranged from 29% to 82% in the 21 trials that reported adherence. CONCLUSION: Home exercise programs are not regularly prescribed in supervised exercise trials for LBP. There was considerable variation in prescribing HEPs and monitoring exercise adherence in trials of exercise-based treatments for adults with LBP. There is no consistent method used to measure participants' adherence to HEPs, and adherence percentages vary widely. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2023;53(3):120-142. Epub: 16 January 2023. doi:10.2519/jospt.2023.11448 .

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