United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) trial

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7492.674-c (Published 17 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:674

Authors' reply

  1. Martin Underwood, professor of general practice UK BEAM Trial Team (m.underwood@qmul.ac.uk)
  1. Centre for General Practice and Primary Care, Institute of Community Health Sciences, Barts and the London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS

EDITOR—Ernst is correct that the beneficial effects UK BEAM found for manipulation could be a non-specific effect. This was a pragmatic study testing a package of manipulatory treatment, not an explanatory study seeking to assess the effect of manipulation itself.

All the manipulation practitioners used a common treatment package agreed by the three professional groups.1 Any comparisons between the professions would be underpowered and, because participants were allocated to therapists nearest their home, non-randomised. Such a comparison was specifically precluded when the professions agreed to …

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