Recovery expectations of neck pain patients do not predict treatments outcome in manual therapy.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scientific reports, 2020, 10, (1)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Patient recovery expectations can predict treatment outcome. Little is known about the association of patient recovery expectations on treatment outcome in patients with neck pain consulting a manual therapist. This study evaluates the predictive value of recovery expectations in neck pain patients consulting manual therapists in the Netherlands. The primary outcome measure 'recovery' is defined as 'reduction in pain and perceived improvement'. A prospective cohort study a total of 1195 neck pain patients. Patients completed the Patient Expectancies List (PEL) at baseline (3 item questionnaire, score range from 3 to 12), functional status (NDI), the Global Perceived Effect (GPE) for recovery (7-points Likert scale) post treatment and pain scores (NRS) at baseline and post treatment. The relationship between recovery expectancy and recovery (dichotomized GPE scores) was assessed by logistic regression analysis. Patients generally reported high recovery expectations on all three questions of the PEL (mean sumscores ranging from 11.3 to 11.6). When adjusted for covariates the PEL sum-score did not predict recovery (explained variance was 0.10 for the total PEL). Separately, the first question of the PEL showed predictive potential (OR 3.7; 95%CI 0.19-73.74) for recovery, but failed to reach statistical significance. In this study patient recovery expectations did not predict treatment outcome. Variables predicting recovery were recurrence and duration of pain. The precise relationship between patient recovery expectations and outcome is complex and still inconclusive. Research on patient expectancy would benefit from more consistent use of theoretical expectancy and outcome models.
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