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Eur J Pain. 2012 Sep;16(8):1158-65. doi: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2011.00109.x. Epub 2012 Jan 26.

Psychological factors unrelated to activity level in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Center for Rehabilitation, University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands.



Enhancement of physical activities is an important goal in rehabilitation programmes for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP). A relationship between activity level and psychological factors is suggested but studied scarcely.


To explore the relationship between the activity level and psychological factors in patients with CMP.


Study design is cross-sectional, explorative. Participants are patients with CMP, included for outpatient multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation.


Activity level was measured by the RT3 accelerometer during 1 week; pain intensity was measured with a 100-mm visual analogue scale; depression, somatization and distress were measured with Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), coping strategy with the Utrecht Coping List (UCL, scales active coping, passive coping, avoiding), fear of movement measured with Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK), scale activity avoidance. Depending on data distribution, correlations between the mean number of activity counts and psychological factors were tested with Pearson or Spearman correlation coefficients.


Fifty three patients were included: age mean 39.9 years [standard deviation (SD) 11.3]; activity counts per day mean 198,243 (SD 78,000); pain intensity mean 58 (SD 27.7); SCL-90-R mean 149.4 (SD 42.5); UCL active coping mean 17.9 (SD 3.7); UCL passive coping mean 12.3 (SD 3.7); UCL avoiding mean 15.3 (SD 3.0); TSK total mean 35.4 (SD 7.4); TSK activity avoidance mean 16.9 SD (4.7). Correlations between psychological factors and the mean number of activity counts per day ranged from r = -0.27 to r = 0.01 and were all non-significant (p ≥ 0.05).


Psychological factors and activity level were unrelated in patients with CMP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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