To examine the influence of the involvement of financial compensation on the results of physiotherapeutic McKenzie treatment on cervicobrachial pain.
A prospective study was carried out with a cohort of 60 patients referred to two spine clinics after they had experienced at least 5 weeks of neck pain radiating to the arm. Follow-up was performed 1 yr later using a validated questionnaire to measure the outcomes of neck and arm pain, disability, the use of analgesics and the perceived effect of the treatment as reported by the patient.
At follow-up, there was no improvement in the group of patients for whom financial compensation was involved, whereas the group for whom compensation was involved showed highly significant improvement.
Despite uniform selection criteria and similarity of complaints and treatment protocols, the involvement of financial compensation seemed to be associated with an adverse effect on treatment results for patients with cervicobrachial pain who were treated conservatively.