Chronic pain is a major health problem in the United States affecting over 90 million people with costs to society estimated at over $70 billion per year. Recurrent or chronic low back pain is positively associated with work disability and non-return-to-work outcome following the onset of injury or illness. The chronic low back pain patient’s expression of intent about returning to work after an injury or illness is identified by literature as an accurate predictor of actual return-to-work outcomes. The study examined relationships that exist between the criterion behavior intent and certain biological, biopsychosocial, and social characteristics that may be linked with patients suffering from chronic low back pain. A general and dispersed population of chronic low back pain patients was surveyed, and 392 cases were retained for analysis. Logistic regression procedures were used to develop models that identified biological, biopsychosocial, and social characteristics significantly related to and predictive of the criterion behavior intent and determined (a) the contribution that individual and grouped characteristics make in the interpretation of the criterion behavior intent and (b) the effect on the relationships if time frames for analysis are limited to one year, two years, three years, and greater than three years since onset of injury or illness. The findings support early intervention during biopsychosocial based treatment in support of positive return-to-work outcomes.
|Subjects||Physical therapy; Management; Occupational psychology|
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