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J Occup Rehabil. 2009 Mar;19(1):25-40. doi: 10.1007/s10926-008-9161-0. Epub 2009 Jan 6.

Systematic review of the ability of recovery expectations to predict outcomes in non-chronic non-specific low back pain.

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School of Physiotherapy, La Trobe University, Melbourne, 3086, Australia.



The aim of the current review was to determine the predictive strength of low recovery expectations for activity limitation outcomes in people with non-chronic NSLBP.


A systematic review of prognostic studies was performed. Included studies took baseline measures in the non-chronic phase of NSLBP, included at least one baseline measure of recovery expectation, defined as a prediction or judgement made by the person with NSLBP regarding any aspect of prognosis, and studied a sample with at least 75% of participants with NSLBP.


Recovery expectations measured using a time-based, specific single-item tool produced a strong prediction of work outcome. Recovery expectations measured within 3 weeks of NSLBP onset provide a strong prediction of outcome. It is not clear whether predictive strength of recovery expectations is affected by the length of time between the expectation measure and outcome measure.


Recovery expectations when measured using a specific, time-based measure within the first 3 weeks of NSLBP can identify people at risk of poor outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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