Does attitude affect level of disability?

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It has long been said that a positive attitude can cause better outcomes in adverse circumstances. Among the many studies that have begun to validate this old adage, results from an Australian survey revealed that patients with high levels of disability associated with lower back pain expressed markedly more negative beliefs about time off work, physical activity, and bed rest compared to those with low levels of disability and lower back pain. Interestingly, attitude about lower back pain was associated with level of associated disability whereas intensity of pain and functional health literacy skills (one’s ability to understand, seek and utilize health information) did not correlate with patient disability level. According to Andrew M. Briggs, PhD, of Curtin University of Technology in Perth, and colleagues, “Future studies should explore health literacy in the context of back pain in a cohort with more heterogeneity in health literacy levels and socioeconomic status and explore tools which capture the broader elements of health literacy.” Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses this study more.

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