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Impact of biomedical and biopsychosocial training sessions on the attitudes, beliefs, and recommendations of health care providers about low back pain: a randomised clinical trial

, : Impact of biomedical and biopsychosocial training sessions on the attitudes, beliefs, and recommendations of health care providers about low back pain: a randomised clinical trial. Pain 152(11): 2557-2563

The beliefs and attitudes of health care providers may contribute to chronic low back pain (LBP) disability, influencing the recommendations that they provide to their patients. An excessively biomedical style of undergraduate training can increase negative beliefs and attitudes about LBP, whereas instruction following a biopsychosocial model could possibly lessen these negative beliefs in health care professionals. The objectives of this study were to determine the effectiveness of 2 brief educational modules with different orientations (biomedical or biopsychosocial) on changing the beliefs and attitudes of physical therapy students and the recommendations that they give to patients. The intervention in the experimental group was based on the general biopsychosocial model, whereas the sessions in the control group dealt with the basics of the biomechanics of back pain. The participants completed the Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ), Health Care Providers' Pain and Impairment Relationship Scale (HC-PAIRS), and Rainville et al. Clinical Cases questionnaire before and after the interventions. The participants attending the biopsychosocial session displayed a reduction in fear-avoidance beliefs (P<.001) and Pain-Impairement beliefs (P<.001), which was strongly correlated with an improvement in clinicians' activity and work recommendations. However, the students assigned to the biomechanics sessions increased their fear-avoidance scores (P<.01), and their recommendations for activity levels worsened significantly (P<.001). Our results confirm the possibility of modifying the behaviour of students through the modification of their beliefs and attitudes. We also conclude that a strictly biomedical education exacerbates maladaptive beliefs, and consequently results in inadequate activity recommendations. The implications of this study are important for both the development of continuing medical education and the design of the training curriculum for undergraduate students.


PMID: 21917377

DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2011.07.023

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