Comparison of pain-resilient working individuals to population-based case controls with/without momentary low back pain

Rolli Salathé, C.; Melloh, M.; Kälin, W.; Semmer, N. K.; Roth, M.; Müller, U.; Elfering, A. (2013). Comparison of pain-resilient working individuals to population-based case controls with/without momentary low back pain. European journal of pain, 17(9), pp. 1411-1421. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2013.00319.x

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Background: Few studies have examined the 20% of individuals who never experience an episode of low back pain (LBP). To date, no investigation has been undertaken that examines a group who claim to have never experienced LBP in their lifetime in comparison to two population-based case–control groups with and without momentary LBP. This study investigates whether LBP-resilient workers between 50 and 65 years had better general health, demonstrated more positive health behaviour and were better able to achieve routine activities compared with both case–control groups. Methods: Forty-two LBP-resilient participants completed the same pain assessment questionnaire as a population-based LBP sample from a nationwide, large-scale cross-sectional survey in Switzerland. The LBP-resilient participants were pairwise compared to the propensity score-matched case controls by exploring differences in demographic and work characteristics, and by calculating odds ratios (ORs) and effect sizes. A discriminant analysis explored group differences, while the multiple logistic regression analysis specified single indicators which accounted for group differences. Results: LBP-resilient participants were healthier than the case controls with momentary LBP and achieved routine activities more easily. Compared to controls without momentary LBP, LBP-resilient participants had a higher vitality, a lower workload, a healthier attitude towards health and behaved more healthily by drinking less alcohol. Conclusions: By demonstrating a difference between LBP-resilient participants and controls without momentary LBP, the question that arises is what additional knowledge can be attained. Three underlying traits seem to be relevant about LBP-resilient participants: personality, favourable work conditions and subjective attitudes/attributions towards health. These rationales have to be considered with respect to LBP prevention.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Rolli Salathé, Cornelia; Kälin, Wolfgang; Semmer, Norbert and Elfering, Achim


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology








Diana Cristina Romano

Date Deposited:

02 May 2014 14:52

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 21:05

Publisher DOI:





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