Compliance effects in a randomised controlled trial of yoga for chronic low back pain: a methodological study.

H E Tilbrook, C E Hewitt, J D Aplin, A Semlyen, A Trewhela, I Watt, D J Torgerson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    STUDY DESIGN: Methodological study nested within a multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT) of yoga plus usual general practitioner (GP) care vs usual GP care for chronic low back pain. OBJECTIVE: To explore the treatment effects of non-compliance using three approaches in an RCT evaluating yoga for low back pain. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: A large multicentre RCT using intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis found that participants with chronic low back pain who were offered a 12-week progressive programme of yoga plus usual GP care had better back function than those offered usual GP care alone. However, ITT analysis can underestimate the effect of treatment in those who comply with treatment. As such, the data were analysed using other approaches to assess the problem of non-compliance. The main outcome measure was the self-reported Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ). METHODS: Complier average causal effect (CACE) analysis, per-protocol analysis and on-treatment analysis were conducted on the data of participants who were fully compliant, predefined as attendance of at least three of the first six sessions and at least three other sessions. The analysis was repeated for participants who had attended at least one yoga session (i.e. any compliance), which included participants who were fully compliant. Each approach was described, including strengths and weaknesses, and the results of the different approaches were compared with those of the ITT analysis. RESULTS: For the participants who were fully compliant (n=93, 60%), a larger beneficial treatment effect was seen using CACE analysis compared with per-protocol, on-treatment and ITT analyses at 3 and 12 months. The difference in mean change in RMDQ score between randomised groups was -3.30 [95% confidence interval (CI) -4.90 to -1.70, P
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)256-262
    Number of pages6
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


    • CACE analysis
    • Compliance effects
    • Low back pain
    • On-treatment analysis
    • Per-protocol analysis
    • Yoga


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