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Psychological factors and treatment opportunities in low back pain.

Psychological factors and treatment opportunities in low back pain.

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2013 Oct;27(5):625-35

Authors: Pincus T, McCracken LM

A large body of evidence suggests that psychological factors, including emotions, beliefs and avoidant behaviours, are linked to poor outcomes in low back pain. At the same time, the evidence from trials of psychological interventions suggests that they improve outcomes mostly in the short term and against passive controls only. These suboptimal results may be due to low competency or fidelity in delivery, or inadequate matching of treatment methods with specific patient problems. Most importantly, there is insufficient theoretical guidance and integration in the design, selection and delivery of methods that precisely target known process of pathology. We identify several new directions for research and opportunities to improve the impact of psychological interventions and to change clinical practice. These include better ways to conceptualise and deliver reassurance at early stages of back pain, utilising models such as the psychological flexibility model to guide treatment development, and essentially extend the fear-avoidance model.

PMID: 24315144 [PubMed – in process]

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