A case series explores the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with physical therapy (PT) for the treatment of fear-avoidance behaviors in patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) who were disabled or in a period of work absence.
LBP is a principal cause of work absence and may affect the development of fear-avoidance behaviors, according to a media release from MDLinx.
In the study, published recently in Musculoskeletal Care, patients were treated until they attained their functional goals and normalized their movement patterns. Using a numerical pain rating scale, the Oswestry Disability Index and Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes, pain, disability, and function were calculated.
For these measures, all patients attained a minimally clinically significant variation. As noted by an average 15-point change in Fear-Avoidance Behavior Questionnaire (Physical Activity) outcomes, fear-avoidance behaviors declined.
Patients on work absence came back to work. Hence, for the treatment of high-irritability, fear-avoidant people who were on disability or in a phase of work absence, this case series illustrated the application of CBT in combination with a traditional PT intervention.
Moreover, the outcomes exhibited that CBT may be a beneficial and feasible adjunct to PT and may positively impact a return to work, the study concludes.