Predicting outcome of chronic back pain using clinical predictors of psychopathology: a prospective analysis

Health Psychol. 1995 Sep;14(5):415-20. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.14.5.415.


This study evaluated whether a comprehensive assessment of psychosocial measures is useful in characterizing those acute low back pain patients who subsequently develop chronic pain disability problems. A cohort of 324 patients was evaluated, with all patients being administered a standard battery psychological assessment tests. A structured telephone interview was conducted 6 months after the psychological assessment to evaluate return-to-work status. Analyses, conducted to differentiate between those patients who were back at work at 6 months versus those who were not because of the original back injury, revealed the importance of 3 measures: self-reported pain and disability, the presence of a personality disorder, and scores on Scale 3 of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. These results demonstrate the presence of a psychosocial disability variable that is associated with those injured workers who are likely to develop chronic disability problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / psychology*
  • MMPI
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Role*
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*