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Title: An investigation of psychosocial factors in back pain
Author: Griffith, S. Jayne
ISNI:       0000 0001 3519 9636
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1998
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The thesis describes a number of qualitative and quantitative studies in the investigation of psychosocial risk factors for back pain and absenteeism. A study of information processing 'biases' was completed comparing three diagnostically different chronic pain groups. Back pain and arthritis patients devote greater processing resources towards illness information than healthy controls. Development of a pain schema is suggested to be related to the personal meaning of pain. A further cross sectional investigation of psychosocial factors associated with back pain in a care assistant population was conducted. Work factors including perception of physical strain and job satisfaction; psychological factors such as pain beliefs, emotionality and family pain history and measures of pain in the last month were assessed. Results found that people reporting back pain had significantly lower job satisfaction, were older and worked significantly longer as care assistants than those reporting a mixture of pain symptoms. Reporting of general pain symptoms and absenteeism was also investigated. This was followed by a longitudinal study of care workers at risk of back pain. Negative emotionality and job satisfaction were identified in a logistic regression as being significant predictors of back pain at six months. High negative emotionality scores at baseline were significantly correlated with high numbers of pain symptoms at follow-up. Difficulties in conducting longitudinal risk research are discussed. The development of the pain schema was investigated by distributing word stem tasks to a variable pain population at baseline and follow-up. People reporting three or more pain symptoms and high pain frequencies were more likely to give higher pain sensory completions. At follow-up, as number of pain symptoms increased over six months so did the number of pain affective responses. The final study was a qualitative investigation of the meaning of back pain in thirty two care assistants using semi structured interviews. Findings suggest that patients delay seeking treatment when they perceive high susceptibility of back pain in the iii working environment, low severity of back pain and few benefits of treatment. Such findings are further discussed within the principals of the Health Belief Model (Becker, 1974).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology