Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Pain. 2014 Aug;155(8):1540-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2014.04.030. Epub 2014 Apr 30.

Diagnostic uncertainty and recall bias in chronic low back pain.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK. Electronic address: danijela.serbic@rhul.ac.uk.
2
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK.

Abstract

Patients' beliefs about the origin of their pain and their cognitive processing of pain-related information have both been shown to be associated with poorer prognosis in low back pain (LBP), but the relationship between specific beliefs and specific cognitive processes is not known. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between diagnostic uncertainty and recall bias in 2 groups of chronic LBP patients, those who were certain about their diagnosis and those who believed that their pain was due to an undiagnosed problem. Patients (N=68) endorsed and subsequently recalled pain, illness, depression, and neutral stimuli. They also provided measures of pain, diagnostic status, mood, and disability. Both groups exhibited a recall bias for pain stimuli, but only the group with diagnostic uncertainty also displayed a recall bias for illness-related stimuli. This bias remained after controlling for depression and disability. Sensitivity analyses using grouping by diagnosis/explanation received supported these findings. Higher levels of depression and disability were found in the group with diagnostic uncertainty, but levels of pain intensity did not differ between the groups. Although the methodology does not provide information on causality, the results provide evidence for a relationship between diagnostic uncertainty and recall bias for negative health-related stimuli in chronic LBP patients.

KEYWORDS:

Diagnosis; Low back pain; Recall bias; Uncertainty

PMID:
24792624
DOI:
10.1016/j.pain.2014.04.030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center