Predictors of disability in patients with chronic low back pain
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Department of Physical Therapy and Special Motility, West University of Timişoara, Timişoara, Romania
Department of Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Rheumatology, “Victor Babes” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, Romania
Department of Rheumatology, The University of Medicine and Pharmacy Tg Mures, Romania
Department of Internal Medicine I, “Victor Babes” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, Romania
Submission date: 2019-10-10
Final revision date: 2019-11-19
Acceptance date: 2019-12-12
Online publication date: 2020-07-08
Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a common and disabling health problem. In this study, we aimed to assess the relationship between pain intensity, the components of catastrophizing, depression and disability in patients with chronic low back pain.

Material and methods:
Seventy-six patients diagnosed with CLBP (age range 25–77 years; 73.7% female) participated in the study. Participants’ socio-demographic data were collected: age, gender, height, weight, and work status (employed or retired). All participants were asked to complete the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), the visual analogue scale (VAS), the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).

The mean group scores revealed moderate CLBP complaints (VAS – 4 [3–6]), mild depression (BDI – 10 [5–16]), a moderate level of catastrophizing (PCS total score 20.5 [10–34]) and moderate disability (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI] – 31 [14–38]). Positive significant correlations were found between ODI and age, residence, work status, VAS, PCS-rumination, PCS-magnification, PCS-helplessness and BDI, and also between PCS subscales and VAS. Our multivariate linear regression analysis showed that age, pain intensity, PCS-helplessness and depression can predict disability in patients with CLBP, explaining 84% of the variance of disability (R2 = 0.851, adjusted R2 = 0.843).

A multidisciplinary approach is needed for patients with CLBP and should include physical, mental and social evaluation in order to offer an optimal treatment.