For immediate release: March 15, 2013
Contact: Chuck Weber - 262.473.3018
News from The Journal of Pain
Injury Fears Can Predict Impairment in Low Back Pain Patients
GLENVIEW, March 15, 2013 – Fear of injury directly predicts pain-related anxiety and indirectly predicts self-reported behavioral impairment, according to a Canadian study reported in The Journal of Pain.
Psychologists from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan examined fear of injury as an independent factor contributing to pain-related anxiety and functional impairment in people with disabling low-back pain. They hypothesized that fear of injury may contribute to the maintenance of chronic pain and disability and also amplify the perceived need to avoid behaviors that might be painful.
Seventy-eight patients receiving treatment for chronic low back pain resulting from motor vehicle or workplace accidents were evaluated in the study. They answered several different questionnaires to assess pain anxiety symptoms, anxiety sensitivity, illness/injury sensitivity and pain intensity. Three measures of functional impairments also were used: physical lifting ability, treatment outcomes and days absent from treatment.
Results of the study showed that fear of injury likely leads to pain-related anxiety by causing catastrophic interpretations of pain and how it could be indicative of an injury. Such appraisals, according to the authors, could lead to pain-related anxiety. Also, individuals with greater fear of injury may be able to cope with single instances of pain but worry that their pain predicts injury that could lengthen or worsen their chronic pain condition.
The authors noted that their study is the first attempt at testing fear of injury within contemporary theories of chronic pain, and their findings support chronic pain interventions to improve pain- related anxiety as a way to reduce functional impairment.
About the American Pain Society
Based in Glenview, IL, the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering. APS was founded in 1978 with 510 charter members. From the outset, the group was conceived as a multidisciplinary organization. The Board of Directors includes physicians, nurses, psychologists, basic scientists, pharmacists, policy analysts and others. For more information on APS, visitwww.americanpainsociety.org.