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Measuring Heatlh Care Workers' Attitudes and Beliefs About Low Back Pain

Many people suffer from low back pain (LBP) that has no known cause or pathology. Studies show that psychosocial factors may play a key role in such cases. Guidelines for back care for those patients is to keep active and avoid bed rest or passive treatments.

But many health care workers (HCWs) don't give back pain patients this advice. It's possible that HCWs' attitudes and beliefs influence their practices in this area. Some studies have been done to survey HCWs' attitudes and beliefs.

In this study, researchers conducted a systematic review of tools used to measure HCWs' attitudes and beliefs about back pain. Out of 5,269 references, they found 12 papers that met their criteria. The five tools that were used in these studies are the Attitudes to Back Pain Scale for musculoskeletal practitioners (ABS.mp), Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ) adapted for HCWs, Fear Avoidance Tool, Health Care Providers' Pain and Impairment Relationship Scale (HC-PAIRS), and Pain Attitudes and Beliefs Scale for Physiotherapists (PABS.PT).

Each survey tool was examined closely. The reviewers assessed the reliability and validity of each tool. They checked to see if it could be filled out by the HCW without help (self-administration). And they looked to see if the survey could be changed to meet language and cultural differences among HCWs.

Based on their critical review, the authors put together a table to give a summary of each of the five tools. They reported that the study of HCWs attitudes and beliefs about LBP is very new. A good tool is needed but before developing something new, it seems wise to check out what has already been done. That's the purpose of this review.

They suggest further study is needed using these five tests with different groups of HCWs and in different settings. Reliability and validity of each test must be proven. And researchers need to see if any of these tools can be used to measure change in attitudes or beliefs after training or education takes place.


Annette Bishop, et al. Health Care Practitioners' Attitudes and Beliefs About Low Back Pain: A Systematic Search and Critical Review of Available Measurement Tools. In Pain. November 2007. Vol. 132. No. 1-2. Pp. 91-101.

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*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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