An investigation of attitudes and underlying beliefs toward low back pain among osteopathy students using the Back Pain Attitudes Questionnaire (Back-PAQ)
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Citation:Hilbink, H. (2017). An investigation of attitudes and underlying beliefs toward low back pain among osteopathy students using the Back Pain Attitudes Questionnaire (Back-PAQ). An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4231
BACKGROUND: Chronic low back pain (LBP) is considered one of the most disabling health conditions worldwide. There is overwhelming evidence that psychosocial factors are important risk factors in the development and maintenance of chronic LBP. It appears that healthcare practitioners’ attitudes and beliefs regarding LBP can significantly influence the views of their patients. AIMS: To identify common LBP attitudes and belief orientations of New Zealand osteopathy students. The secondary aim was to investigate psychometric properties of the tool, the Back Pain Attitudes Questionnaire (Back-PAQ) which has had limited prior testing. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted that included basic demographic information, the Health Care Providers’ Pain and Impairment Relationship Scale (HC-PAIRS) and the Back Pain Attitudes Questionnaire (Back-PAQ). Students marked on a Likert scale how strongly they agreed or disagreed with each item in the questionnaire. The convergent validity and internal consistency of the Back-PAQ was also evaluated against the HC-PAIRS. In total 83 students participated in this study. RESULTS: The median Back-PAQ and HC-PAIRS scores for students across all year levels were 6.5 and 46.0 respectively. Median Back-PAQ scores for Year 1 and 2 students were 10.0 and for Year 4 and 5 students’ 17.0. Third year students’ scored 11. Scores for the HC-PAIRS for Year 1 and 2 students were 54.0, Year 3 students scored 50 and for Year 4 and 5 students were 35.0. The Back-PAQ had ‘good’ internal consistency (α= 0.88) and acceptable convergent validity (Pearson’s r = - 0.77, P value <0.001) when measured against the HCPAIRS. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, osteopathy students hold less than optimal attitudes and beliefs about the back, and back pain that are not in line with best practice guidelines. However, the study revealed promising results in that students in their final 2 years of study scored significantly more favourably than Year 1 and 2 students. The new tool Back-PAQ showed promising results for clinical application whereby good internal consistency and acceptable convergent validity were found.