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Risk factors of pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain: a biopsychosocial approach.


Chang HY, Jensen MP, Yang YL, Lee CN, Lai YH.



Publication Info:

Journal of clinical nursing, 21(9-10):1274-1283


Aims and objectives. To examine the associations between pain-related psychological and social factors and pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain intensity and interference after controlling biological factors. Background. Pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain is prevalent and has been shown to interfere with women's quality of life. Although pain is a multidimensional phenomenon known to be influenced by psychosocial factors, the majority of previous research on this pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain has focused on biological factors. Design. Cross-sectional correlational research. Method. A sample of 183 pregnant women with lumbopelvic pain was recruited from a medical center in northern Taiwan. Study participants provided demographic information and were administered the Brief Pain Inventory and a modified Catastrophising subscale of the Coping Strategies Questionnaire. Multiple regressions were used to examine the associations among the study variables. Results. Analyses indicated that lower education level was associated with higher pain intensity. Higher pain intensity during pregnancy and catastrophising cognitions were associated significantly with higher pain interference. Moreover, age moderated the strength of the association between pain intensity and pain interference. This association was stronger for older than for younger women. Conclusions. This study identified the psychosocial factors associated with pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain intensity (educational level) and interference (pain intensity and catastrophising) and also a variable (age) that moderated the association between pain intensity and pain interference. The findings support a biopsychosocial approach in understanding the experience and impact of pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain. Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses should assess pregnant clients' age, educational level, pain intensity and pain catastrophising thoughts to help identify women who are more at risk for higher lumbopelvic pain intensity or interference. Women endorsing catastrophising cognitions should be referred to or provided with treatment to reduce the frequency of these cognitions that are known to have a negative impact on quality of life in other pain populations.

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