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(Article, p. 775). Note: This article is the subject of a video news release. Call for coordinates. A separate news release will be issued.
In a study of 259 people with subacute low back pain, a combination of exercise and advice directed by physical therapists improved pain and function in the short term (Article, p. 787). At six weeks, patients who received real exercise and real advice had less pain and more mobility than a group who received sham exercise and sham advice, but at 12 months, these positive effects had almost disappeared.
A study of national medical expenditure surveys done in 2000 to 2004 finds that uninsured people who gain insurance spend at the same rate as those who have had insurance continuously and insured people who lose insurance spend at levels similar to those who have been continuously uninsured (Article, p. 768). The authors suggest that “expenditures associated with gaining insurance will increase in a predictable manner to levels similar to those of persons who are already insured.” An editorial writer says the findings do not show that having health insurance necessarily improves health care (Editorial p. 814). But the writer says that many other studies in the past quarter century “provide convincing support …that health insurance improves health outcomes.” So, the writer asks, How much longer will uninsured persons have to wait before “we, as a nation, decide to provide health insurance to every person living in the United States.”
(These articles are published online, www.annals.org, beginning June 5, 2007. They will be available in the July 17, 2007, print edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.)