Fear of movement/(re)injury predicting chronic disabling low back pain: a prospective inception cohort study

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2006 Mar 15;31(6):658-64. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000203709.65384.9d.


Study design: Prospective inception cohort study.

Objective: To investigate prospectively whether pain-related fear predicts future perceived disability and participation in patients with acute low back pain (LBP).

Summary of background data: There are indications that fear of movement/(re)injury, as measured by the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, is present early in an episode of LBP, and that it might be a predictor of future perceived disability and participation.

Methods: A cohort of 555 patients with acute LBP included by general practitioners and physical therapists in primary care settings was followed for 6 months.

Results: Results indicate that baseline fear of movement/(re)injury was predictive of future perceived disability and, to a lesser extent (and together with duration and radiation), of participation.

Conclusions: The results suggest that interventions aimed at reducing pain-related fear in the acute stage of LBP might prevent restrictions of activity and participation because of pain, and might be a way of preventing the transition from acute to chronic LBP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Injuries / epidemiology
  • Back Injuries / psychology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cohort Studies
  • Fear / psychology*
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Low Back Pain / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement*
  • Pain Measurement / psychology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Secondary Prevention