The effectiveness of cognitive treatments for low back pain, a prevalent and costly condition, are commonly based on the principles of the Cognitive Behavioral Model of Fear of Movement/(Re)injury. In this model, persons with a painful injury/experience who also engage in pain catastrophizing are most likely to avoid activity leading to disability. The validation of this model in patients with acute low back is limited. The purpose of this project was to examine the relationship of perceived disability with variables identified in the Cognitive Behavioral Model of Fear of Movement/(Re)injury such as, pain severity, pain catastrophizing, depression, and exercise in persons with acute low back pain. A multiple linear regression model was used to assess the association of perceived disability with pain severity, pain catastrophizing, depression, and exercise at baseline among subjects with acute low back pain ( = 44) participating in a randomized clinical trial to prevent transition to chronic low back pain. Controlling for age, the overall model was significant for perceived disability ([5, 35] = 14.2; < .001). Higher scores of pain catastrophizing ( = .003) and pain severity ( < .001) were associated with higher perceived disability levels. Exercise and depression were not significantly associated with perceived disability. The use of the Cognitive Behavioral Model of Fear of Movement/(Re)injury in acute LBP patients is appropriate; because this model is commonly used as rationale for the effectiveness of cognitive treatments, these findings have clinical relevance in the treatment of this condition.
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