Observational cross-sectional study.
To analyze the association between low back pain and biomedical beliefs in physiotherapy students of the first and last year.
Summary of Background Data.
There is a hypothesis that the presence of low back pain may be a risk factor for biomedical beliefs in physiotherapy academics.
Three hundred sixty-five students of first and last year of the physiotherapy course from three universities in city of Fortaleza completed a questionnaire with sociodemographic factors and a Pain Attitude and Beliefs Scale used to determine the orientation (biopsychosocial or biomedical approach) of practitioners to the management of people with low back pain.
The mean age of participants was 23.57 ± 4.77 years, with a predominance of females (80.27%, n = 239). Approximately 23.84% reported low back pain, 18.9% had undergone imaging tests at the site, and 36.71% reported that family members with low back pain also underwent these examinations. The means of the biopsychosocial subscale of the Pain Attitude and Belief Scale corresponded to 20.19 and 20.63 in the first and last year academics, respectively, whereas the biomedical subscale corresponded to 32.10 and 32.73 in the first and last year academics, respectively. There was no statistical difference between the scores of the first and last year students. Linear regression analyses showed that low back pain was associated with lower levels of biomedical beliefs in the students of the last year (beta coefficient = −2.17, 95% confidence interval = −3.95 to −0.3, P = 0.02). We did not find association between low back pain and levels of biomedical beliefs in academics of both years and with academics of the first year. Also, we did not find association between low back pain and levels of biopsychosocial beliefs.
First and last year physical therapy students did not present a difference between biomedical and biopsychosocial beliefs. Although biomedical beliefs were prevalent in both groups, the academics of the last year who had low back pain presented lower levels of biomedical beliefs than the academics of the last year without low back symptoms.
Level of Evidence: 4