Roberts, Lisa, Chapman, Judith and Sheldon, Frances
Perceptions of control in people with acute low back pain
Physiotherapy, 88, (9), . (doi:10.1016/S0031-9406(05)60137-X).
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Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate how people with acute low back pain respond to this common symptom and whether they perceive themselves able to influence their back pain episode.
Method: A total of 272 home visits were undertaken with 64 participants. The primary outcome measures for this study were the Multi-dimensional Health Locus of Control forms A (general) and C (condition-specific).
Results: Participants' perceptions of control over their back pain changed over time and were not synonymous with their perceptions about general health. Sex differences were evident, with men perceiving a greater influence of powerful others and chance factors in their acute back pain than women participants.
Conclusion: When people develop back pain, their psychological make-up influences how they respond. Locus of control may be a factor affecting this response and is likely to form part of a broader issue of ‘perceived control over health'. The clinical implications for physiotherapists are discussed.
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