Kinesiophobia and its relation to pain characteristics and cognitive affective variables in older adults with chronic pain

BMC Geriatr. 2016 Jul 7;16:128. doi: 10.1186/s12877-016-0302-6.


Background: The contribution of kinesiophobia (fear of movement) to the pain experience among older adults has been poorly evaluated. The aim of this study was to study prevalence at baseline, development over a 12-month period and cognitive-affective variables of kinesiophobia in a population-based sample of older adults with chronic pain.

Methods: The study included 433 older adults (+65 years) with chronic pain (mean age 74.8 years) randomly selected using a Swedish register of inhabitants. Kinesiophobia was measured at baseline and 12-month follow-up with the 11-item version of the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK-11). Associations of demographic-, cognitive affective - and pain-related variables to kinesiophobia were analysed with linear regression analyses.

Results: The mean level of kinesiophobia was low. Worsening and recovering from kinesiophobia occurred over time, but the mean level of kinesiophobia remained unchanged (p = 0.972). High levels of kinesiophobia (TSK ≥35) were found among frailer and older adults predominately living in care homes, but not dependent on sex. Poor self-perceived health (OR = 8.84) and high pain intensity (OR = 1.22) were significantly associated with kinesiophobia.

Conclusion: Results indicate that potential interventions regarding kinesiophobia among older adults should aim to decrease pain intensity and strengthen health beliefs.

Keywords: Chronic pain; Kinesiophobia; Older adults; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Pain* / diagnosis
  • Chronic Pain* / psychology
  • Cognition
  • Fear* / physiology
  • Fear* / psychology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods
  • Humans
  • Karnofsky Performance Status
  • Kinesiology, Applied / methods
  • Male
  • Movement*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Phobic Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Phobic Disorders* / psychology
  • Psychological Techniques*
  • Self Concept
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden