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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2020 June;56(3):307-12

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.20.06004-9

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Manual handling of patients: role of kinesiophobia and catastrophizing in health workers with chronic low back pain

Luigi I. LECCA 1, 2, Daniele FABBRI 2, Igor PORTOGHESE 2, Ilaria PILIA 2, Federico MELONI 2, Gabriele MARCIAS 2, 3, Maura GALLETTA 2, Nicola MUCCI 1, Marcello CAMPAGNA 2 , Marco MONTICONE 2, 4

1 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 2 Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Monserrato, Cagliari, Italy; 3 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy; 4 Neurorehabilitation Unit, Department of Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, G. Brotzu Hospital, Cagliari, Italy



BACKGROUND: Biomechanical overload due to patients’ manual handling represents a relevant contributor to chronic low back pain (LBP). Fear of movement (also known as kinesiophobia) and catastrophising may influence the development of chronic complaints and lower performances also in working environments, despite these issues are poorly investigated.
AIM: The aim of this study is twofold: 1) to evaluate the levels of kinesiophobia and catastrophizing in a sample of health personnel with chronic LBP and employed in activities specifically requiring patients’ manual handling; 2) to appraise the influence of these factors on disability.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study.
SETTING: Four Italian hospitals.
POPULATION: Sixty-four healthcare workers suffering from nonspecific low back pain, exposed to the spinal risk of biomechanical overload due to patients’ manual handling.
METHODS: We assessed kinesiophobia, catastrophizing and disability by means of validated questionnaires (the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia [TSK], the Pain Catastrophizing Scale [PCS], and the Oswestry Disability Index [ODI], respectively). Values of central tendency and dispersion of the variable of interest were calculated, along with the association among variables through multiple linear regression analysis.
RESULTS: The results showed presence of kinesiophobia (TSK=34.0; IQR=28.2-42.09), catastrophizing (PCS=20.5; IQR=10.2-29.0) and disability (ODI=28.8; IQR=13.5-40.0) in the population enrolled. Disability was significantly predicted by kinesiophobia and catastrophizing (R2=0.529 P=0.00003).
CONCLUSIONS: Kinesiophobia and catastrophizing are present in health workers with chronic LBP involved in patients’ manual handling and are linked to disability. Further investigations in this field are recommended to investigate a role for cognitive-behavioral strategies aimed at managing catastrophizing and kinesiophobia to increase working abilities.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: The assessment of catastrophizing and kinesiophobia is crucial in health workers engaged with patients’ manual handling and suffering from chronic LBP.


KEY WORDS: Fear; Low back pain; Health personnel; Moving and lifting patients; Occupational exposure

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