Predicting the transition from acute to persistent low back pain

Melloh, Markus; Elfering, Achim; Egli Presland, Carmen; Röder, Christoph; Hendrick, Paul; Darlow, Ben; Theis, Jean-Claude (2011). Predicting the transition from acute to persistent low back pain. Occupational medicine, 61(2), pp. 127-131. Oxford: Oxford University Press 10.1093/occmed/kqq194

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BACKGROUND: Most people experience low back pain (LBP) at least once in their lifetime. Only a minority of them go on to develop persistent LBP. However, the socioeconomic costs of persistent LBP significantly exceed the costs of the initial acute LBP episode. AIMS: To identify factors that influence the progression of acute LBP to the persistent state at an early stage. METHODS: Prospective inception cohort study of patients attending a health practitioner for their first episode of acute LBP or recurrent LBP after a pain free period of at least 6 months. Patients were assessed at baseline addressing occupational and psychological factors as well as pain, disability, quality of life and physical activity and followed up at 3, 6, 12 weeks and 6 months. Variables were combined to the three indices 'working condition', 'depression and maladaptive cognitions' and 'pain and quality of life'. RESULTS: The index 'depression and maladaptive cognitions' was found to be a significant baseline predictor for persistent LBP up to 6 months (OR 5.1; 95% CI: 1.04-25.1). Overall predictive accuracy of the model was 81%. CONCLUSIONS: In this study of patients with acute LBP in a primary care setting psychological factors at baseline correlated with a progression to persistent LBP up to 6 months. The benefit of including factors such as 'depression and maladaptive cognition' in screening tools is that these factors can be addressed in primary and secondary prevention.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Melloh, Markus; Elfering, Achim and Röder, Christoph


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:19

Last Modified:

27 Apr 2018 09:05

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URI: (FactScience: 210786)

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