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Health Psychol. 1995 Sep;14(5):415-20.

Predicting outcome of chronic back pain using clinical predictors of psychopathology: a prospective analysis.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235-9044, USA.


This study evaluated whether a comprehensive assessment of psychosocial measures is useful in characterizing those acute low back pain patients who subsequently develop chronic pain disability problems. A cohort of 324 patients was evaluated, with all patients being administered a standard battery psychological assessment tests. A structured telephone interview was conducted 6 months after the psychological assessment to evaluate return-to-work status. Analyses, conducted to differentiate between those patients who were back at work at 6 months versus those who were not because of the original back injury, revealed the importance of 3 measures: self-reported pain and disability, the presence of a personality disorder, and scores on Scale 3 of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. These results demonstrate the presence of a psychosocial disability variable that is associated with those injured workers who are likely to develop chronic disability problems.

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