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Conservative Interventions Reduce Fear in Individuals With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review

Published:August 29, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2019.08.470

      Abstract

      Objective

      To systematically review and critically appraise the effectiveness of conservative and surgical interventions to reduce fear in studies of people with chronic low back pain, based on the analysis of randomized controlled trials for which fear was a primary or secondary outcome.

      Data Sources

      Electronic databases PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PEDro, and CENTRAL, as well as manual searches and grey literature were searched from inception until May 2019.

      Study Selection

      Randomized controlled trials analyzing the effectiveness of conservative and surgical interventions to reduce fear were included.

      Data Extraction

      Two reviewers independently conducted the search strategy, study selection, data extraction, risk of bias assessment, and quality of the evidence judgment.

      Data Synthesis

      Sixty-one studies (n=7201) were included. A large number of fear-related search terms were used but only 3 fear constructs (kinesiophobia, fear-avoidance beliefs, fear of falling) were measured in the included studies. Multidisciplinary and psychological interventions as well as exercise reduced kinesiophobia. Fear-avoidance beliefs were reduced by the aforementioned interventions, manual therapy, and electrotherapy. A multidisciplinary intervention reduced the fear of falling. There was moderate evidence of multidisciplinary interventions and exercise to reduce kinesiophobia. There was moderate evidence of manual therapy and electrotherapy to reduce fear-avoidance beliefs.

      Conclusions

      The present systematic review highlights the potential effectiveness of conservative interventions to reduce kinesiophobia and fear-avoidance beliefs in individuals with chronic low back pain. This information can help health professionals to reduce fear when treating patients with this condition.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation), LBP (low back pain), MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), RCT (randomized controlled trial)
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