Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 95–103 | Cite as

Prevalence of psychopathology in acute and chronic low back pain patients

  • Regina K. Kinney
  • Robert J. Gatchel
  • Peter B. Polatin
  • W. Tom Fogarty
  • Tom G. Mayer


This study assessed the differential prevalence rates of psychopathology in chronic and acute low back pain patients. Psychopathology was assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-III-R (SCID). The results showed that chronic low back pain patients (n=90), had much higher rates of psychopathology than did patients in the acute back pain group (n=90), and much higher than general population base rates. In particular, chronic low back pain patients had high rates of major depression, substance abuse, and personality disorders. Moreover, the chronic low back patients also had high rates of premorbid psychopathology. It was concluded that psychopathology is a major concomitant of chronic low pack pain, and that treating the psychological problems, along with the physical aspects of the chronic low back pain may increase the patient's chance of a successful therapeutic outcome.

Key Words

psychopathology chronic low back pain DSM-III-R 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Regina K. Kinney
    • 1
  • Robert J. Gatchel
    • 1
  • Peter B. Polatin
    • 1
  • W. Tom Fogarty
    • 2
  • Tom G. Mayer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at DallasDallas
  2. 2.Occupational Health CentersDallas
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at DallasDallas

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