Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine
Iberoamerican Journal of Medicine
Original article

Association of pain intensity and psychological factors among patients with chronic low back pain (LBP). A correlational cross-sectional study

Asociación de la intensidad del dolor y factores psicológicos entre pacientes con dolor lumbar crónico (DLC). Un estudio transversal correlacional

Sebastián Martín Pérez, Diego Zárate de Lupgens, Marcos Carrillo Pagés, Juan José Gómez Santaella, José Luis Alonso Pérez a, Isidro Martín Pérez

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Introduction: Chronic low back pain (cLBP) is associated with a dynamic interaction of multiple psychological factors that act as predictors of recovery time. Our goal was to quantify the association between pain intensity and psychological variables.
Material and methods: A cross-sectional study using convenience sampling was conducted at Universidad Europea de Canarias (Spain) between January 24, 2022 and June 10, 2022. In addition, adults and children with cLBP older than 13 years with cLBP for at least 12 weeks of symptoms were included. Finally, the descriptive analysis and the calculation of the correlation coefficients of the data was carried out with SPSS v.28.0.
Results: We recruited 146 subjects (n=85 women, 58.3%; n=61 men,41.7%) aged 50.4 ± 12.21 years suffering from cLBP with a moderate pain intensity (7.02±0.188), kinesiophobia (22.79 ± 0.559), catastrophism (13.42 ± 0.897), anxiety (24.47±0.560) and the quality of life SF36-PF (65.65±2.291), SF36-PR (48.03±2.727), SF36-BP (33.14±1.566), SF36-GH (43.98±1.873), SF36-V (48.56±1.812), SF36-SF (61.39±2.353), SF36-ER (76.29±2.043) and SF36-MH (49.76±1.666). Pain intensity in cLBP patients was negatively and moderately correlated with SF36-BP score (Pearson's r = -0.561, p < 0.001). In addition, the main variable was negatively and weakly correlated with SF36-PF (Pearson's r= -0.395, p<.001), SF36-PR (Pearson's r=-0.433, p<.001), SF36-V (Pearson's r = -0.260, p = 0.006), SF36-GH (Pearson's r = -0.203, p=0.032), SF36-SF (Pearson's r=-0.215, p=0.024). and SF36-MH (Pearson's r= -0.203, p = 0.032). Furthermore, pain intensity showed positive and weak with kinesiophobia score (Pearson’s r=0.310, p<.001) and positive and very weak with catastrophism (Pearson’s r=0.136, p<.001). In contrast, there was not correlation between pain intensity and anxiety in cLBP subjects (Pearson’s r=0.025, p=0.794).
Conclusions: Psychological variables were not associated with pain intensity in patients with cLBP. However, physical perception of pain was the only variable that remained moderately linearly associated with pain intensity.


Chronic low back pain; Psychological factors; Quality of life


Introducción: El dolor lumbar crónico (dolor lumbar crónico) está asociado a una interacción dinámica de múltiples factores psicológicos que actúan como predictores del tiempo de recuperación. Nuestro objetivo fue cuantificar la asociación entre la intensidad del dolor y las variables psicológicas.
Material y métodos: Se realizó un estudio transversal mediante muestreo por conveniencia en la Universidad Europea de Canarias (España) entre el 24 de enero de 2022 y el 10 de junio de 2022. Además, adultos y niños mayores de 13 años con dolor lumbar crónico con dolor lumbar crónico durante al menos Se incluyeron 12 semanas de síntomas. Finalmente, el análisis descriptivo y el cálculo de los coeficientes de correlación de los datos se realizó con SPSS v.28.0.
Resultados: Se reclutaron 146 sujetos (n=85 mujeres, 58,3 %; n=61 hombres, 41,7 %) de 50,4 ± 12,21 años que sufrían dolor lumbar crónico con intensidad de dolor moderada (7,02 ± 0,188), cinesiofobia (22,79 ± 0,559), catastrofismo (13,42±0,897), ansiedad (24,47±0,560) y calidad de vida SF36-PF (65,65±2,291), SF36-PR (48,03±2,727), SF36-BP (33,14±1,566), SF36-GH (43,98± 1,873), SF36-V (48,56±1,812), SF36-SF (61,39±2,353), SF36-ER (76,29±2,043) y SF36-MH (49,76±1,666). La intensidad del dolor en pacientes con dolor lumbar crónico se correlacionó negativa y moderadamente con la puntuación SF36-BP (r de Pearson = -0,561, p < 0,001). Además, la variable principal se correlacionó negativa y débilmente con SF36-PF (r de Pearson= -0.395, p<.001), SF36-PR (r de Pearson=-0.433, p<.001), SF36-V (r de Pearson=-0.433, p<.001). = -0,260, p = 0,006), SF36-GH (r de Pearson = -0,203, p=0,032), SF36-SF (r de Pearson = -0,215, p=0,024). y SF36-MH (r de Pearson = -0,203, p = 0,032). Además, la intensidad del dolor mostró puntuación positiva y débil con kinesiofobia (r de Pearson = 0,310, p < 0,001) y positiva y muy débil con catastrofismo (r de Pearson = 0,136, p < 0,001). Por el contrario, no hubo correlación entre la intensidad del dolor y la ansiedad en sujetos cLBP (r de Pearson = 0,025, p = 0,794).
Conclusiones: Las variables psicológicas no se asociaron con la intensidad del dolor en pacientes con dolor lumbar crónico. Sin embargo, la percepción física del dolor fue la única variable que permaneció moderadamente asociada linealmente con la intensidad del dolor.

Palabras clave

Dolor lumbar crónico; Factores psicológicos; Calidad de vida


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