Subproject 5 - Physical activity and psychosocial characteristics of asymptomatic subjects and low back pain patients in real life
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Physical activity and psychosocial characteristics of asymptomatic subjects and low back pain patients in real life
Low back pain (LBP) is the most prevalent disabling health complaint worldwide. The understanding of this disorder and its prevention and treatment success remain limited because a basic mechanistic understanding of the inter-relationship between spinal structure/motion and their association with pain and health behavior (i.e., physical activity, PA) is rare, and because previous LBP research has usually applied single occasion designs lacking relevance in determining risk factors in real life. To better understand chronic LBP, this project (in close collaboration with SP1 and SP4) will combine, for the first time, modifiable, psychosocial and behavioral data with parameters on morphology and motion measured repeatedly in the individuals’ natural environment.
The present subproject will complement the overall aim of the research group by extending the diagnostic workup of LBP patients towards an analysis of health behavior and psychosocial functioning in longitudinal study designs, providing high temporal resolution of data at the intra-individiual level in real life (i.e., ambulatory asessments). We will measure daily activities using traditional tools combined with accelerometry and ecological momentary assessments (i.e., self-reports of pain and psychosocial variables) in everyday life via smartphone.
We put forth the following hypotheses:
(1) Real-life assessments of psychological functioning are associated with PA and spinal motion/morphology.
(2) Compared to asymptomatic individuals, we expect LBP patients to show lower levels of PA and psychosocial functioning.
(3) Individuals who undergo a non-surgical, exercise-based intervention (see SP4) will show positive changes in psychosocial functioning and PA compared to a standard rehabilitation program.