Kinesiophobia in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain: differences between men and women

J Rehabil Med. 2008 May;40(5):375-80. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0186.


Objective: To investigate the degree of kinesiophobia in patients with chronic pain, to examine differences in kinesiophobia and other pain-related characteristics between men and women, and to examine differences in pain-related characteristics between patients with high and low levels of kinesiophobia.

Design: Postal survey.

Subjects/patients: Eighty-eight men and 173 women with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Methods: Patients completed questionnaires covering background data, pain variables, disability and psychological characteristics. The Swedish version of Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK-SV) was used to measure kinesiophobia.

Results: Kinesiophobia (TSK-SV score >37) was found in 56% of patients, with men having a higher frequency (72%) than women (48%). Pain intensity was correlated with TSK-SV score in both men and women. No correlations were found between kinesiophobia and age, pain duration or probable depression/anxiety. Women with high kinesiophobia tended to be younger, had more pain and showed more tiredness, disability, stress, interference and life dissatisfaction compared with women with low kinesiophobia. These differences were not seen in men.

Conclusion: The results indicate differences between men and women with chronic pain. The use of the TSK-SV questionnaire might assist therapists to identify patients whose fear of movement may negatively impact their rehabilitation. There is some evidence to suggest that optimal cut-off scores may differ between male and female patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / psychology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain / rehabilitation
  • Pain Measurement
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires