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PhD ceremony Ms. A.E. Lakke: Workcapacity of patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain

When:We 05-02-2014 at 16:15
Where:Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

PhD ceremony: Ms. A.E. Lakke

Dissertation: Workcapacity of patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain

Promotor(s): prof. J.H.B. Geertzen, prof. M.F. Reneman, prof. C.P. van der Schans

Faculty: Medical Sciences

Physical therapist's attitude might influence work capacity

Patients with musculoskeletal pain show often reduced work performance. In order to determine which work related activities a person can perform; functional capacity test can be executed. Sandra Jorna-Lakke studied which factors influence these standardized functional capacity tests. She concluded that one of the factors, surprisingly, might be the therapist who evaluates the test.

Musculoskeletal pain is the number one causal reasons for restricted participation at work. In order to determine if a person is prevented from work, standardized tests are executed. Jorna-Lakke was interested in the influence of a physical therapist's attitude on test results.

She performed a randomized controlled study. One half (124 healthy persons) underwent a lifting capacity test in the presence of an evaluator who had a back pain avoidant attitude, the other half (132 healthy persons) in the presence of an evaluator without a back pain avoidance attitude. The first evaluators focused more on pain, stronger control of the test protocol, and showed hesitation. None of the participants was injured, but the average lifting capacity in the first group was remarkable lower (7.4 kg) than in the second group. Jorna-Lakke concluded that the evaluators had surprisingly influence on the maximal lifting capacity of healthy persons. She recommends that the verbal and nonverbal communication should be studied in the future. This might influence work activities in patients with musculoskeletal pain.

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