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March 7, 2001

Do Back Belts Prevent Back Injury?—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(9):1151-1152. doi:10.1001/jama.285.9.1151

In Reply: We agree with Dr Dorinson and do not want to "dismiss attempts at prevention." However, our research shows that employers and employees should not depend on back belts for prevention. Instead, prevention efforts should be based on a comprehensive workplace evaluation of work tasks and the work environment to reduce the hazards of lifting. Whatever mechanical or psychological effects that back belts may have on workers, our study shows that these effects do not result in decreased incidence of back pain or back injury claims. We are now completing a study to assess biomechanical and physiological effects of back belts.

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