Catastrophizing and kinesiophobia in patients with anterior knee pain
Anterior knee pain in adolescents and young adults are the cause of frequent consultations in the health system. The pathogenesis and treatment is however not yet fully understood, despite the high prevalence of the condition. Conservative and surgical treatments have shown to be unpredictable, despite correct treatment. The purpose of the study was to investigate if changes in psychological variables are related to the outcome in pain and disability in patients with chronic anterior knee pain.
An observational study involving 47 patients with chronic anterior knee pain was conducted and knee pain, disability and the psychological variables of anxiety, depression, pain coping strategies, catastrophizing and fear-of – movement beliefs were studied. Questionnaires were completed at baseline (before treatment or surgery) and after a period of 6 months. The result of the study showed that patients with decreased catastrophizing, kinesiophobia, anxiety and depression showed greater improvement in pain and disability after a purely biomedical treatment. Changes in catastrophizing predicted amount of improvement in pain, and changes catastrophizing and anxiety predicted changes in disability after treatment.
Pain is a multidimensional phenomenon and catastrophizing modulates the perception of pain in a dynamic manner. The most important finding in this study was that catastrophizing predicts changes in pain and disability. The clinical implication of such a study is that by including interventions that may reduce catastrophizing and kinesiophobia may improve results of purely biomedical physiotherapy and surgery. > From: Doménech et al., Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2014) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Springer-Verlag.
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