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      Pain-related fear and functional recovery in sciatica: results from a 2-year observational study

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          The purpose of this study was to explore the associations between pain-related fear, pain disability, and self-perceived recovery among patients with sciatica and disk herniation followed up for 2 years.

          Patients and methods

          Pain-related fear was measured by the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) and the Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire-Physical Activity (FABQ-PA) subscale. Disability was measured by the Maine–Seattle Back Questionnaire. At 2 years, patients reported their sciatica/back problem on a global change scale ranging from completely gone to much worse. No specific interventions regarding pain-related fear were provided.


          Complete data were obtained for 372 patients. During follow-up, most patients improved. In those who at 2 years were fully recovered (n=66), pain-related fear decreased substantially. In those who did not improve (n=50), pain-related fear remained high. Baseline levels of pain-related fear did not differ significantly between those who were fully recovered and the rest of the cohort. In the total cohort, the correlation coefficients between the 0–2-year change in disability and the changes in the TSK and the FABQ-PA were 0.33 and 0.38, respectively. In the adjusted regression models, the 0–2-year change in pain-related disability explained 15% of the variance in the change in both questionnaires.


          Pain-related fear decreased substantially in patients who recovered from sciatica and remained high in those who did not improve. Generally, the TSK and the FABQ-PA yielded similar results. To our knowledge, this is the first study that has assessed pain-related fear in patients who recover from sciatica.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Pain-related fear is more disabling than pain itself: evidence on the role of pain-related fear in chronic back pain disability.

          There is growing evidence for the idea that in back pain patients, pain-related fear (fear of pain/physical activity/(re)injury) may be more disabling than pain itself. A number of questionnaires have been developed to quantify pain-related fears, including the Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ), the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK), and the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale (PASS). A total of 104 patients, presenting to a rehabilitation center or a comprehensive pain clinic with chronic low back pain were studied in three independent studies aimed at (1) replicating that pain-related fear is more disabling than pain itself (2) investigating the association between pain-related fear and poor behavioral performance and (3) investigating whether pain-related fear measures are better predictors of disability and behavioral performance than measures of general negative affect or general negative pain beliefs (e.g. pain catastrophizing). All three studies showed similar results. Highest correlations were found among the pain-related fear measures and measures of self-reported disability and behavioral performance. Even when controlling for sociodemographics, multiple regression analyses revealed that the subscales of the FABQ and the TSK were superior in predicting self-reported disability and poor behavioral performance. The PASS appeared more strongly associated with pain catastrophizing and negative affect, and was less predictive of pain disability and behavioral performance. Implications for chronic back pain assessment, prevention and treatment are discussed.
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            Fear-avoidance model of chronic pain: the next generation.

            The fear-avoidance (FA) model of chronic pain describes how individuals experiencing acute pain may become trapped into a vicious circle of chronic disability and suffering. We propose to extend the FA model by adopting a motivational perspective on chronic pain and disability. A narrative review. There is ample evidence to support the validity of the FA model as originally formulated. There are, however, some key challenges that call for a next generation of the FA model. First, the FA model has its roots in psychopathology, and investigators will have to find a way to account for findings that do not easily fit within such framework. Second, the FA model needs to address the dynamics and complexities of disability and functional recovery. Third, the FA model should incorporate the idea that pain-related fear and avoidance occurs in a context of multiple and often competing personal goals. To address these 3 key challenges, we argue that the next generation of the FA model needs to more explicitly adopt a motivational perspective, one that is built around the organizing powers of goals and self-regulatory processes. Using this framework, the FA model is recast as capturing the persistent but futile attempts to solve pain-related problems to protect and restore life goals.
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              Statsitical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences

               J Cohen,  JL Cohen,  JM Cohen (1988)

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                31 October 2016
                : 9
                : 925-931
                [1 ]Department of Rheumatology, Østfold Hospital Trust, Grålum
                [2 ]Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Division for Neuroscience, Oslo University Hospital
                [3 ]Department of General Practice, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo
                [4 ]FORMI (Communication Unit for Musculoskeletal Disorders), Division of Neuroscience, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
                Author notes
                Correspondence: AJ Haugen, Department of Rheumatology, Sykehuset Østfold, Postboks 300, 1714 Grålum, Norway, Tel +47 9119 3452, Fax +47 6986 6401, Email annhau@ 123456so-hf.no
                © 2016 Haugen et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                kinesiophobia, fear-avoidance, recovery


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