Economic evaluation is a research priority to identify cost-effective treatments in chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP). However, there is a lack of economic evaluation, especially in Brazil. Furthermore, the clinicians and researchers present difficulty to interpret this type of study. Although, cost-of-illness studies are important to determine the costs of a specific disorder, there is no information about the expenses with more prevalent musculoskeletal disorders in Brazil, such as osteoarthritis. Furthermore, studies have been conducted to investigate variables which can be associated with costs of CMP in order to identify costs in different subgroup of patients. Nevertheless, there are no studies that investigated the association between societal costs and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in patients with chronic low back pain. Thus, the aims of this research project are: 1) to discuss and interpret economic evaluation in physical therapy studies; 2) to investigate the direct costs of osteoarthritis in Brazil; and 3) to identify the association between societal costs of chronic low back pain and HRQL. To achieve the first aim, a masterclass article will be conducted. This article is a descriptive manuscript that will help physical therapists to interpret economic evaluation. To achieve the second aim, a cost-of-illness study will be conducted to identify outpatient and inpatient care costs with osteoarthritis in Brazil. To achieve the third aim, 296 patients with non-specific chronic low back pain of a randomized controlled trial will be included. Societal costs and HRQL will be measured. Analysis will be performed to assess if societal costs will be associated with HRQL.
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