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Table 1 Inclusion and exclusion criteria and the order of their evaluation

From: Inclusion and exclusion criteria used in non-specific low back pain trials: a review of randomised controlled trials published between 2006 and 2012

Inclusion criterion
RCTs of nsLBP not failing one of the eight exclusion criteria
Order Exclusion criteria
1 Non-English language reports
2 Studies that were not RCTs or presented insufficient information for us to determine whether randomisation was used to allocate participants
3 Reports that self-identified as pilot/feasibility studies
4 Cross-over designs (because of limited utility in the LBP field)
5 RCTs with mixed samples (e.g. neck or thoracic pain in addition to LBP), samples of participants with radiating leg pain, or referred pain extending past the knee in reports where LBP was not described as non-specific, or samples including LBP specific pathology (e.g. cancer, ankylosing spondylitis, or disc herniation) or pregnancy
6 Trials using solely objective or psychological outcome measures
7 Non-inferiority designs
8 Follow-up studies with no new outcome measures, and multiple publications. In the case of multiple publications, we included the first published article and excluded subsequent publications
  1. RCT = Randomised controlled trial; nsLBP=Non-specific low back pain