Comparison of pain-resilient working individuals to population-based case controls with/without momentary low back pain
Version of Record online: 3 MAY 2013
© 2013 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters
European Journal of Pain
Volume 17, Issue 9, pages 1411–1421, October 2013
How to Cite
Salathé, C. R., Melloh, M., Kälin, W., Semmer, N.K., Roth, M., Müller, U. and Elfering, A. (2013), Comparison of pain-resilient working individuals to population-based case controls with/without momentary low back pain. European Journal of Pain, 17: 1411–1421. doi: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2013.00319.x
Swiss National Science Foundation's MHV-Program for financial support in form of personal grant (PMCDP1_134112/1) to the first author. Further support by National Research Program NRP 53 ‘Musculoskeletal Health – Chronic Pain’ of Swiss National Science Foundation (Project 405340-104826).
Conflict of interest
- Issue online: 5 SEP 2013
- Version of Record online: 3 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 APR 2013
- Swiss National Science Foundation's MHV-Program. Grant Number: PMCDP1_134112/1
- National Research Program NRP 53 ‘Musculoskeletal Health – Chronic Pain’ of Swiss National Science Foundation. Grant Number: 405340-104826
Few studies have examined the 20% of individuals who never experience an episode of low back pain (LBP). To date, no investigation has been undertaken that examines a group who claim to have never experienced LBP in their lifetime in comparison to two population-based case–control groups with and without momentary LBP. This study investigates whether LBP-resilient workers between 50 and 65 years had better general health, demonstrated more positive health behaviour and were better able to achieve routine activities compared with both case–control groups.
Forty-two LBP-resilient participants completed the same pain assessment questionnaire as a population-based LBP sample from a nationwide, large-scale cross-sectional survey in Switzerland. The LBP-resilient participants were pairwise compared to the propensity score-matched case controls by exploring differences in demographic and work characteristics, and by calculating odds ratios (ORs) and effect sizes. A discriminant analysis explored group differences, while the multiple logistic regression analysis specified single indicators which accounted for group differences.
LBP-resilient participants were healthier than the case controls with momentary LBP and achieved routine activities more easily. Compared to controls without momentary LBP, LBP-resilient participants had a higher vitality, a lower workload, a healthier attitude towards health and behaved more healthily by drinking less alcohol.
By demonstrating a difference between LBP-resilient participants and controls without momentary LBP, the question that arises is what additional knowledge can be attained. Three underlying traits seem to be relevant about LBP-resilient participants: personality, favourable work conditions and subjective attitudes/attributions towards health. These rationales have to be considered with respect to LBP prevention.