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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 07

J Pers Med



The Influence of the Locus of Control Construct on the Efficacy of Physiotherapy Treatments in Patients with Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review.


Álvarez-Rodríguez J, Leirós-Rodríguez R, Morera-Balaguer J, Marqués-Sánchez P, Rodríguez-Nogueira Ó
J Pers Med. 2022 Feb 07; 12(2).
PMID: 35207720.


The biopsychosocial paradigm contemplates the patient's personality traits in physiotherapy treatments for chronic pain. Among these traits, the locus of control has a direct relationship with the person's coping strategies in the face of their health problems. The objective of this systematic review was to assess the influence of locus of control on the efficacy of physiotherapy treatments in patients with chronic pain. A systematic review of the publications of the last ten years in Pubmed, Scopus, Science Direct and Web of Science databases was conducting with the terms physical therapy modalities, chronic pain, internal-external control, self-management, physical therapy and physiotherapy. The inclusion criteria were participants with chronic pain lasting at least three months who have received at least one session of physical therapy; the studies should have collected the patient's locus of control as a prognostic factor at the beginning of physiotherapy treatment; the variables studied should include the pain intensity or clinical variables related to pain. A total of 13 articles were found, of which three were experimental studies and ten were observational studies. The included samples had chronic knee pain, nonspecific back pain, low back pain or neck pain; were people over 65 years of age or patients who had undergone hand surgery. In patients with chronic pain for more than three months, the locus of control construct participates as a predictor of the results of physiotherapy treatment. The presence of an internal locus of control favors better results. The personality traits of the subjects represent an important factor to take into account when planning physiotherapy treatments.