Study Design—The effects of participant characteristics along with descriptions of pain, and psychological involvement, such as fear avoidance, were assessed using structural equation modeling to identify relationships between these factors and disability as a result of low back pain.
Objective—The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between factors related to pain description, participants’ characteristics, psychological involvement and disability through structural equation modeling.
Summary of Background Data—Low back pain is a complex multifactorial condition that can lead to disability. Understanding which factors contribute to disability and how those factors interact is important for predicting and minimizing disability in patients with low back pain.
Methods—We analyzed data from 156 participants (63% female) with low back pain. A stepwise structural equation model was built with patient characteristics, pain intensity, depression, anxiety and fear avoidance to predict disability in low back pain.
Results—Participants were 23–84 (49.7±15.1) years of age and experienced 0.03–300 months duration (25.5±36.4) of current low back pain. The final model explained 62% of the variance in disability and included female gender, full-time employment, depression, and fear avoidance beliefs as significant predictors. Full-time employment was the only significant predictor that reduced disability; all other significant predictors increased disability in the model.
Conclusions—Understanding the relationship between these predictors and disability provides a foundation for predicting and managing disability for individual patients who suffer from low back pain.
Melton, B. L., Moqbel, M., Kanaan, S., & Sharma, N. K. (2016). Structural Equation Model of Disability in Low Back Pain. Spine, 41(20), 1621–1627. https://doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000001563