Table 1

 Baseline characteristics of randomised patients*

No (%) of patients
Usual care (n=743, 33%)PhysioDirect (n=1506, 67%)
Female sex†438 (59)897 (60)
Age (years)†‡ 48(36-62)48(37-61)
White ethnicity705 (96)1,439 (97)
Employed417 (57)925 (62)
Site of musculoskeletal problem†
 Cervical89 (12)185 (12)
 Thoracic13 (2)35 (2)
 Lumbar203 (27)412 (27)
 Upper limb174 (23)351 (23)
 Lower limb225 (30)450 (30)
 Widespread pain7 (1)8 (1)
 Multiple 27 (4)55 (4)
 Other 4 (1)10 (1)
Primary care trust†
 Bristol251 (34)499 (33)
 Somerset165 (22)348 (23)
 Cheshire174 (23)353 (23)
 Stoke153 (21)306 (20)
Time off work (days)‡0 (0-5)0 (0-5)
SF-36v2 (physical component score)§37.72 (8.63)36.81 (8.88)

*Excluding seven patients excluded after randomisation.

†Stratification/minimisation variable.

‡Median (interquartile range).

§Mean (standard deviation).