Beliefs about back pain: The confluence of client, clinician and community

  • Ben Darlow
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +64 4 918 6051.
    Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice, University of Otago, Wellington, PO Box 7343, Wellington South 6242, New Zealand
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Published:January 28, 2016DOI:


      Patient beliefs play an important role in the development of back pain and disability, as well as subsequent recovery. Community beliefs about the back and back pain which are inconsistent with current research evidence have been found in a number of developed countries. These beliefs negatively influence people's back-related behaviour in general, and these effects may be amplified when someone experiences an episode of back pain.
      In-depth qualitative research has helped to shed light on why people hold the beliefs which they do about the back, and how these have been influenced. Clinicians appear to have a strong influence on patients' beliefs. These data may be used by clinicians to inform exploration of unhelpful beliefs which patients hold, mitigate potential negative influences as a result of receiving health care, and subsequently influence beliefs in a positive manner.


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