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Pain. 2002 May;97(1-2):23-31.

Pain beliefs and perceived physical disability of patients with chronic low back pain.

Author information

1
Back Pain Unit, King's Mill Centre for Healthcare Services, Mansfield Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield NG17 4JL, UK. david.walsh@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

Cognitive-behavioural therapy and maintenance of exercise have emerged as major tools in the treatment of patients with chronic low back pain. Patients' beliefs about their problem may influence their uptake of and responses to particular treatment modalities. In particular, we hypothesised that patients' beliefs about the cause and treatment of pain may mediate changes in physical disability following participation in a multidisciplinary pain management programme. A cohort of 84 patients was invited to respond to booklets of self-report questionnaires prior to, immediately after and 3 months following participation in multidisciplinary pain management programmes. Questionnaires addressed subjects' beliefs about the nature and treatment of pain (Pain Beliefs Questionnaire), and their disability (Likert-modified Roland and Morris Disability Questionnaire, Physical Functioning scale of the Short Form-36 Health Survey, and Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire). Patients with chronic low back pain who more strongly endorsed 'organic' concepts about the nature and treatment of pain reported higher levels of physical disability at baseline, and displayed greater reductions in disability following participation in the pain management programmes. Reductions in reported 'organic' pain beliefs were associated with improvements in reported disability. Endorsement of 'psychological' concepts about the nature and treatment of pain was not associated with disability. These findings support a view that patients' beliefs about the nature and treatment of their pain can change during participation in a multidisciplinary pain management programme based on cognitive-behavioural intervention. Modification of these beliefs may be associated with improvements in patients' perceptions of the level of their disability.

PMID:
12031776
DOI:
10.1016/s0304-3959(01)00426-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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