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Abstract

Purpose. Pacing, avoidance, and overdoing are considered the three main behavioral strategies, also labeled activity patterns. Their relationship with functioning of patients with chronic pain is debated. The purpose of this study was to measure the influence of activity patterns on lifting tasks commonly used in daily life. Method. We performed a monocentric observational study and included patients performing Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). Avoidance, pacing, and persistence were assessed with using the Patterns of Activity Measures–Pain (POAM-P). Maximal safe performance was measured for floor-to-waist, waist-to-overhead, horizontal lift, and carrying with dominant-hand tests according to the FCE guidelines. Descriptive statistics, associations of POAM-P subscales with various sociodemographic variables, and correlations are presented. Standard multiple linear regression models were applied to measure the associations between FCE tests and POAM-P subscales, adjusting for the following potential confounders: age, gender, body mass index (BMI), pain severity, trauma severity, localization of injury, and education. Results. Persistence was significantly positively associated with performance on the 4 FCE tests: floor-to-waist (coefficient = 0.20; ), waist-to-overhead (coefficient = 0.13; ), horizontal lift (coefficient = 0.31; ), and dominant-handed lifting (coefficient = 0.19; ). Pacing was found to have a negative influence on the carrying dominant-hand test (coefficient = –0.14; ), and avoidance was not found to have an influence on the 4 FCE tests. Conclusion. This study shows that task-persistence pattern is positively associated with physical performance in FCE, whereas pacing can have a negative influence on some tests.

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