Perceptions and Response to Conservative Treatment of Low Back Pain in Soldiers During Initial Entry Training: A Convergence Mixed Methods Study.
Low back pain (LBP) is a common condition suffered by military personnel. Psychosocial factors play a role in LBP prognosis and can be addressed with self-management tools. This study's purpose was to (1) describe clinical changes in psychosocial factors of LBP following a self-management intervention and (2) explore the LBP experience of military trainees. Ten participants in Initial Entry Training (IET) were included in this mixed methods study. A self-management intervention of exercises and psychosocial education was provided. Quantitative instruments assessing psychosocial factors were delivered at baseline and 6 weeks. Qualitative data were gathered after treatment and analyzed using a phenomenological approach. Low levels of psychosocial risk factors were reported. Patient satisfaction (COPM-Satisfaction subscale) was the only outcome that achieved statistical significance at 6 weeks (p = 0.037). Three themes emerged from the qualitative results: the influence of the military culture on recovery from LBP, the LBP experience of a trainee, and promoting the self-management of LBP. While this cohort of IET soldiers exhibited low levels of psychosocial risk factors, qualitative reports indicate that LBP has a negative impact on participation in training, academics, and interpersonal relationships. The constraints of military training make seeking care and applying treatment strategies challenging.
Schoonover, CM; Turner, SL; Woods, Y; Smith-Forbes, E; Rhon, DI
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