The "myths" of low back pain: status quo in norwegian general practitioners and physiotherapists
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background. In 2001, several myths of low back pain still were alive in the general population in Norway, myths that were not in concordance with current guidelines. Objectives. To investigate perceptions about back pain in Norwegian general practitioners and physiotherapists and to compare these with perceptions in the general population. Methods. During June 2001, 436 general practitioners (mean age 44.8, range 26–69 years) and 311 physiotherapists (mean age 47.6, range 25–70) were asked to rate their agreement with 7 statements, corresponding to Deyo’s 7 myths that formulate 7 common misbeliefs on back pain. The corresponding data from the general population of 807 individuals (mean age 45.5, range 25–70) were sampled during early spring 2001. Results. There were significant differences between the general population, general practitioners, and physiotherapists for all myths, the general population being more likely to agree with all myths. The differences were maintained even after controlling for educational level in the general population. There were no differences between general practitioners and physiotherapists except for the myths “radiographs and newer imaging tests can always identify the cause of pain” and “back pain is usually disabling,” whereas general practitioners were less likely to disagree with the myths. Few gender and age differences were found in the professional groups. Conclusion. In Norwegian general practitioners and physiotherapists, Deyo’s 7 myths mostly seem to be dead and buried. However, it does not seem that this has extended to the public yet, as many myths still are alive in the general population.
Reproduced with permission from publisher