Depression impacts the course of recovery in patients with acute low back pain

Melloh, Markus; Elfering, Achim; Käser, Anja; Rolli Salathé, Cornelia; Barz, Thomas; Aghayev, Emin; Röder, Christoph; Theis, Jean-Claude (2013). Depression impacts the course of recovery in patients with acute low back pain. Behavioral Medicine, 39(3), pp. 80-89. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/08964289.2013.779566

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Little is known about the course of recovery of acute low back pain (LBP) patients as a function of depression. In a prospective study, 286 acute LBP patients were assessed at baseline and followed up over 6 months. Recovery was defined as improvement in the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Repeated-measures analysis of covariance was employed with ODI as repeated factor, age, sex, and body mass index as covariates, depression and all other potential prognostic factors as between-subject factors. Of study participants, 18% were classified as depressive (>33 points on the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale). Of 286 participants, 135 were lost to follow-up. In the longitudinal sample of 151 patients the course of recovery was slower in depressive patients. Depression was associated with LBP especially after 6 weeks and should therefore be included in screening instruments for acute LBP patients to identify those at risk of delayed recovery at an early stage.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Evaluative Research into Orthopaedic Surgery
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Melloh, Markus, Elfering, Achim, Rolli Salathé, Cornelia, Aghayev, Emin, Röder, Christoph


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Taylor & Francis




Ives Gerber

Date Deposited:

11 Apr 2014 10:40

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:24

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

acute back pain, depression, prognosis, prospective study recovery


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