Objectives: To evaluate the differences in predictors of nonrecovery between patients with a specific diagnosis at arm, neck, and/or shoulder, vs. patients with a nonspecific diagnosis in general practice at 6 months after the first consultation.
Study design and setting: New consulters with nontraumatic arm, neck, or shoulder complaints entered the cohort. Patient, complaint, and physical, psychosocial, and work characteristics were evaluated as possible predictors. Logistic regression analyses were conducted for the specific and nonspecific groups separately.
Results: At 6 months, 38% (n=298) of the specific-group members and 49% (n=249) of the nonspecific-group members reported nonrecovery. Univariately, similar variables were related in both groups, although their strength sometimes differed. Multivariately, duration of complaints was predictive of nonrecovery in both groups. Other predictors in the specific group were as follows: more somatization, low social support, older age, high body mass index, and unemployment. In the nonspecific group, the predictors were as follows: musculoskeletal comorbidity, recurrent complaint, poor perceived general health, multiple-region complaints, and high level of kinesiophobia.
Conclusion: At 6 months, nonrecovery was reported more frequently in the group of patients with a nonspecific diagnosis. The predictive value of psychosocial factors on nonrecovery is at least of equal importance in patients with a specific diagnosis compared with patients with a nonspecific diagnosis.
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