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Attitudes, beliefs and health literacy impact how patients manage chronic lower-back pain
Date:7/6/2010

in-depth interviews to qualitatively explore their beliefs about LBP and experiences in seeking, understanding and using information related to LBP.

"Although we know a fair amount about the reasons for persistent pain and disability among individuals who experience lower back pain, interventions which aim to modify these factors deliver only modest changes in outcomes. This suggests that we may be overlooking an important factor which influences treatment outcomes and that is health literacy," according to lead investigator Dr. Andrew Briggs, School of Physiotherapy and Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia. "Quantitative data confirmed that LBP-related beliefs and behaviours, rather than pain intensity and functional health literacy skills measured from a standard questionnaire, are important correlates of LBP disability. Less positive beliefs and pain attitudes are associated with persistence of pain and high levels of LBP-related disability. These include beliefs about the inevitable dire consequences of LBP, fear avoidance beliefs and the belief that pain results in a hopeless situation (catastrophizing). Beliefs and subsequent pain-related behaviours and coping strategies are shaped by interactions with health professionals and health information. Therefore, it is plausible that health literacy and LBP beliefs are related and that health literacy may be an important driver of LBP-related disability. We wanted to explore how people with CLBP seek, understand and utilize health information more thoroughly than information derived from a questionnaire, so we included a large qualitative arm to the study."

High-disability (HD) and low-disability (LD) groups were compared. The HD group reported a greater degree of interference with recreational activities (86%) compared to the LD group (27%). The HD group also reported significantly greater fear avoidance beliefs about physical activity,
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Contact: Christine Rullo
c.rullo@elsevier.com
215-239-3709
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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