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The Relationship Between Life Purpose With Depression and Disability in Acute Low Back Pain Patients

Salt, Elizabeth; Wiggins, Amanda C.; Rayens, Mary Kay; Johnson, Rachele; Hardy, Jaime K.; Segerstrom, Suzanne; Crofford, Leslie J.

doi: 10.1097/NOR.0000000000000480
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BACKGROUND: Life purpose in acute low back pain patients is not well described in published literature.

METHODS/PURPOSE: We used linear regression models to describe the relationship of life purpose with perceived functional disability and depression in persons with acute low back pain (N = 42) participating in a randomized clinical trial to prevent transition to chronic low back pain.

RESULTS: In our predominantly female sample (81.8%) with a mean age of 53 years (SD = 11.6 years), 52% worked full-time. Adjusting for age, gender, and working status, life purpose was a significant correlate of depression (p = .007). For every 10-unit increase in life purpose score, the estimated depression score decreased by almost 2.5 points. A significant relationship between life purpose and perceived functional disability was not identified.

CONCLUSION: Life purpose likely is a modifiable risk factor for depression in acute low back pain patients.

Elizabeth Salt, PhD, APRN, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Amanda C. Wiggins, PhD (Biostatistics), Lecturer, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Mary Kay Rayens, PhD (Biostatistics), Professor, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Rachele Johnson, MS (Psychology), Research Assistant, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Jaime K. Hardy, PhD (Psychology), Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD (Psychology), Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Leslie J. Crofford, MD (Rheumatology), Wilson Family Chair in Medicine, Director, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology, Professor of Medicine, and Professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

The authors do not have conflicts of interest to disclose in relation to the research described in this manuscript.

© 2018 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses