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Pain. 2006 Dec 15;126(1-3):72-8. Epub 2006 Jul 14.

Reduced work capacity after lumbar disc surgery: the role of cognitive-behavioral and work-related risk factors.

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Department of Physical Therapy, University Medical Centre Radboud, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


A significant number of patients who have had surgery for lumbosacral radicular syndrome still have a reduced work capacity several months later. In a prospective cohort study of 182 people who underwent lumbar disc surgery, we determined the predictive value of preoperatively measured cognitive-behavioral and work-related factors on work capacity 6 months after surgery. Logistic regression analyses indicated that these factors independently predicted work capacity 6 months after surgery. Specifically, fear of movement/(re)injury, more passive pain coping, and higher physical work-load predicted reduced work capacity in multiple logistic regression analyses, taking into account the role of a wide range of control variables including demographic variables, preoperative disability and pain intensity, neurological deficits, intake of analgesics, duration of complaints, and pain intensity 3 days postoperatively. The study supports the need to develop and evaluate preoperative risk screening measures that include both cognitive-behavioral and work-related factors and to evaluate the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral and work-related interventions in patients at risk of reduced work capacity after surgery for LRS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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