Background The occupational impact of low back pain is generally assessed in terms of absenteeism and duration of sick leave. A non-return to work greater than eight days has been considered a poor prognosis factor. Several psychosocial factors have been identified as the original cause.
Objectives Studying the impact of erroneous beliefs, avoidance behaviors, apprehension and fear of movement on sick leave in patients with chronic low back pain.
Methods A prospective study was conducted in patients with chronic low back pain patients. The notion of apprehension-avoidance was evaluated by the Fear Avoidance Beliefs questionnaire (FABQ), fear of movement by the Tampa scale of kinesiophobia (TSK) and functional disability by the Functional Disability Scale Of low back pain: EIFFEL (French version of Roland Disability Questionnaire).
A study of the correlations between these different parameters and the duration of sick leave was carried out subsequently.
Results Our study included 100 patients. The findings revealed a 95% absenteeism rate including 67% with a sick leave of more than one month. The FABQ, TSK and EIFFEIL scores were high.
The statistical study concluded that there was a positive and significant correlation between sick leave time, fears and erroneous beliefs (r =0.147, P=0.033). We also found a positive and significant correlation between the duration of sick leave and kinesiophobia. There were no statistically significant correlations between sick leave and functional disability.
Conclusions The high scores of FABQ and TSK confirm the important role of false beliefs and fear of movement in the genesis of chronicity in chronic low back pain as reported in the literature. The positive correlations found in our study reinforce the theory of the deconditioning of these patients following their beliefs. Management of these factors would be an important contribution to limit sick leave times in chronic low back pain.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared