Interdisciplinary Co-Design Research Practice in the Rehabilitation of Elderly Individuals with Chronic Low Back Pain from a Senior Care Center in South Korea

Muhammad Tufail (Corresponding Author), HeaBin Lee, YangGyu Moon, Hwang Kim, KwanMyung Kim (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The rehabilitation practices encounter multifaceted problems inherent in the current context of the elderly with chronic low back pain (LBP). We addressed a particular multifaceted problem in the current context using an interdisciplinary co-design research practice that consists of three phases: context exploration, patient-expert interaction, and patient-centered rehabilitation. Using an empirical study integrated with this practice, we investigated 30 Korean elderly patients suffering from LBP and introduced an exercise program design. In the context exploration phase, we found that the elderly patients neglected proper posture during work causing spine instability and resultantly developing chronic LBP. The patient–expert interaction phase explored latissimus dorsi (LD) and lumbar erector spinae (LES) muscles as the back trunk muscles that had caused LBP in most of these elderly patients. In the patient-centered rehabilitation phase, we designed an exercise program with exercise protocols and an exercise object for flexion and extension of trunk muscle relaxation and stabilization. Using electromyography (EMG), we found that the exercise program significantly increased the muscle activation levels of the muscles and reduced LBP. Our practice defines and addresses a multifaceted problem with several challenges both in healthcare design and the problem itself. This integrated approach can easily be expanded and adapted to other domain-related research projects that possess characteristics of complex problems
Original languageEnglish
Article number4687
Pages (from-to)4687
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • exercise
  • healthcare design
  • interdisciplinary co‐design research
  • low‐back pain
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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