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

adopted a more passive coping style and was less optimistic about the future progression of their condition. While all participants with CLBP had adequate health literacy scores measured on a questionnaire (S-TOFHLA), qualitative (interview) data highlighted difficulties in seeking, understanding and utilizing LBP information.

Individuals in both the HD and LD groups identified similar perceived causes for LBP, including sports injuries, incorrect manual handling procedures, and poor posture. Individuals with CLBP-low disability also cited their work practices, in particular sitting at a computer for too long, general "wear and tear," and heritability as causes of their disability, while individuals with CLBP-high disability cited being overweight and ageing as causes for their LBP.

Participants predominantly sought information from health professionals when their disability or LBP became unmanageable, or when it interrupted their lifestyle. A strong theme that emerged across both high and low disability groups was the perception that physiotherapists and chiropractors had more expertise in the management of LBP than general practitioners and were therefore able to provide more specialized information. However, most participants stated that their understanding of LBP issues was hindered by complex medical terminology.

An important finding from this study was that individuals with CLBP-high disability tended to attribute their pain experience to an anatomic reason, while this trend was not noticed in the CLBP-low disability group. "Although anatomic reasons may be important in some cases of CLBP, international data and guidelines highlight the importance of psychological and social factors in the etiology of CLBP," commented Dr. Briggs. "The fact that individuals with CLBP-high disability believed anatomic factors were the primary reason for their pain experience highlights that belief systems and information provided to patients are criti
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Contact: Christine Rullo
c.rullo@elsevier.com
215-239-3709
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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