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Strategies for Coping with Chronic Lower Back Pain in Patients with Long Physiotherapy Wait Time

Anna Cabak, Anna Dąbrowska-Zimakowska, Aleksandra Truszczyńska-Baszak, Patryk Rogala, Katarzyna Laprus, Wiesław Tomaszewski

Department of Physiotherapy, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:3913-3920

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894743

Available online:

Published: 2015-12-15


BACKGROUND: Treatment efficacy for the increasing prevalence of back pain is a great challenge for both health care providers and individuals coping with this problem. This study aimed to evaluate pain coping strategies used by primary care patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP) as a supplementation of medical diagnosis before a physiotherapy programme.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 88 people were divided into 3 age groups: young adults (21–40 years old), middle-aged adults (41–60 years old), and the elderly (over 60 years old). Data was gathered from rehabilitation centers and primary medical care facilities. A cross-sectional design was used. The Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CSQ) was completed before the physiotherapy course.
RESULTS: Patients complained of CLBP for 11.32±6.81 years on average. The most common strategies to cope with back pain included declaring that the pain is manageable, praying and hoping, as well as increased behavioral activity. Statistically significant differences in coping strategies were found between age groups. The elderly patients were more likely to “declare coping with pain” in comparison to the younger age groups (p<0.01). People over 60 years of age were more likely to declare active coping with pain, while young people reported catastrophizing.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients in different age groups had various difficulties in pain coping. Most of them required support in self-management of pain in addition to physiotherapy. The basic assessment of pain coping strategies should be consistently taken into account and included in rehabilitation protocols in chronic pain treatment.

Keywords: Adult, Adaptation, Psychological, Chronic Pain - rehabilitation, Cross-Sectional Studies, Low Back Pain - rehabilitation, Physical Therapy Modalities, Surveys and Questionnaires, Waiting Lists, young adult



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