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Introduction:Low back pain (LBP) is the leading course of years lived with disability. Unfortunately, not much knowledge exists about distinct trajectories of recovery from disability after LBP and their potential psychological predictors.Objectives:Hence, the aim of the present study was to identify trajectories of functional disability in LBP and their potential baseline psychological predictors.Methods:A 1-year consecutive cohort (N = 1048) of patients with LBP referred to the Spine Centre if they have not improved satisfactorily from a course of treatment in primary care after 1 to 2 months were assessed by self-report questionnaires at their first visit and at 6- and 12-month follow-up. Data from patients who responded to the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire at least twice (N = 747) were used to assess trajectories of functional disability by Latent Growth Mixture Modeling. The following measures were used as baseline predictors of the trajectories: Pain Intensity Numerical Rating Scales, Pain Catastrophizing Scale, Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.Results:Four distinct trajectories were identified: high-stable (22.0%), high-decreasing (20.4%), medium-stable (29.7%), and low-decreasing (27.9%). Using the low-decreasing trajectory as reference, baseline pain intensity, depressive symptoms, and pain-catastrophizing predicted membership of all 3 symptomatic trajectories. However, using the high-decreasing trajectory as reference, age, baseline pain intensity, and depression were predictors of the high-stable trajectory.Conclusion:In particular, the finding of a high-stable trajectory characterized by high levels of baseline psychological distress is of potential clinical importance because psychological distress may be targeted by cognitive behavioral therapeutic approaches.

TidsskriftPain Reports
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 17. jan. 2022


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