Knee function and pain related to psychological variables in patients with long-term patellofemoral pain syndrome

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2005 Sep;35(9):594-600. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2005.35.9.594.


Study design: Nonexperimental, descriptive study, including 2 independent samples.

Objectives: To assess the levels of mental distress and self-perceived health in subjects with long-term patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) compared to a group of healthy subjects, and the relationship between knee function and knee pain to these psychological variables.

Background: Psychological variables and those describing self-perceived health status have been given little focus in PFPS research.

Methods and measures: One group of 25 men and women between 19 and 44 years of age with unilateral long lasting PFPS, and a control group (n = 23) of healthy subjects (age range, 18-44 years) participated in the study. Knee function was assessed with the use of the Cincinnati Knee Rating System (CKRS) and the triple jump test, and knee pain was measured by a visual analogue scale (VAS). Self-perceived health and mental distress were assessed with the Coop-Wonca Chart and the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist-25 (HSCL-25) questionnaire.

Results: The mean (+/- SD) score on the Coop-Wonca Chart was 2.02 +/- 0.73 in the PFPS group, compared to 1.20 +/- 0.53 in the controls (P < .001). HSCL-25 mean (+/- SD) scores were 1.46 +/- 0.47 and 1.08 +/- 0.18 (P < .001) for the PFPS and the control group, respectively. When analyzed with correlation statistics, CKRS and VAS scores were found to correlate to those of the Coop-Wonca Chart and HSCL-25 scores.

Conclusion: Levels of mental distress were higher in the group with PFPS than in the control group, while levels of self-perceived health were lower. Our data indicate that the levels of knee pain and knee function correlate closely to the degree of mental distress and self-perceived health in individuals with PFPS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Control Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires