Low back pain (LBP) is a global health challenge, with high prevalence, recurrence rates and healthcare costs, and is the condition associated with the highest societal burden in terms of years lived with disability. LBP exerts its influence at the societal level but also at the individual level, with both psychological and social consequences. As over 90% of LBP cases have no underlying spinal pathology, the use of a biopsychosocial approach, where physical/biological and psychosocial factors are addressed during care may be useful. This approach further recognizes that factors such as a positive attitude towards treatment and optimistic patient expectations play a role in treatment outcomes.

Patient expectations of treatment are influenced by several factors, including past experiences with back pain, age, gender, demographic factors, education level, depression and fear. Past experiences are especially important and are often captured via ‘yellow flags’, which assess modifiable psychological risks factors important for evaluating both response to treatment and risk of symptom chronicity.

The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of patient expectation on short-term, subjective improvement in LBP in patients with recurrent/persistent LBP. This Review also features a guest commentary from this study’s lead author, Dr. Andreas Eklund…LOG IN OR SUBSCRIBE TO ACCESS THIS REVIEW!


“Patient Expectations Influence Treatment Outcomes in Low Back Pain”

This paper was published in the European Journal of Pain (2019) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Low Back Pain, Pain - Biopsychosocial Model, Clinical Practice and the 2019 Archive.
Expectations LBP