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Non-specific chronic musculoskeletal pain: prevalence, spatial extent of pain, mental comorbidities, and psychophysiological patterns

Gerhardt, Andreas

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Chronic back pain (CBP) is common and has high socio-economic relevance. Moreover, therapeutic approaches for CBP have had limited success, because so far there are only unspecific treatment approaches for a heterogeneous CBP group. In addition, research on CBP is typically based on highly selected samples, often relies on data gathered from questionnaires rather than interviews or examinations, and usually neglects the heterogeneity of patients. This hampers the generalization of results. Therefore, there is a need for research with high methodological quality that accounts for the heterogeneity of CBP patients. In regard to this, research projects that combined the advantages of population-based studies and clinical methods and consider that CBP seems to be a complex condition that usually involves further symptoms in addition to pain in the back were designed. This research also considers the link between clinical manifestations and pathophysiological findings. The five studies encompassed by this dissertation thesis deal with diverse aspects of CBP. These include prevalence rate, the spatial extent of pain, sociodemografic and clinical variables, mental comorbidity, and psychophysiological patterns. Summarized the findings underpin the heterogeneity of CBP patients that should be accounted for in treatment and research. A study that considers these findings and points to subgroup-specific approaches is introduced. The results will foster the development of new subgroup-specific treatment options and corresponding diagnostic markers.

Document type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Eich, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang
Date of thesis defense: 11 November 2013
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2013 06:59
Date: 2013
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institute of Psychology
Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg > Medizinische Universitäts-Klinik und Poliklinik
Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg > Psychosomatische Universitätsklinik
DDC-classification: 150 Psychology
610 Medical sciences Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: chronic back pain; CBP; mental comorbidity; mental disorders; prevalence; spatial extent of pain; biopsychosocial; quantitative sensory testing; QST; conditioned pain modulation; CPM; exercise; athletes
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