Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 169–178 | Cite as

Accuracy of Pain Recall in Chronic and Recurrent Low Back Pain

  • Raymond W. McGorry
  • Barbara S. Webster
  • Stover H. Snook
  • Simon M. Hsiang


Physiological and psychological stressors, disease state, and psychosocial factors may influence recall accuracy in low back pain (LBP) reporting. The literature indicates that duration or frequency of the painful episode(s) may exert a greater influence on recall accuracy than pain intensity. The focus of this study is the recall accuracy in self-report of pain by a chronic, nonspecific LBP population. This retrospective study examined recall accuracy of LBP at 1-week, 1-month, and 6-month intervals as compared to self-report using daily pain diaries. Significant differences in recall accuracy were found at the 6-month recall period, but not at the 1-week or 1-month periods. Significant differences in accuracy were found between men and women at the 6-month recall period. Subjects with recurrent LBP were more accurate than subjects with more chronic pain. Pain level or intensity was not shown to effect recall.

memory recall accuracy LBP pain ratings 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond W. McGorry
    • 1
  • Barbara S. Webster
    • 1
  • Stover H. Snook
    • 2
  • Simon M. Hsiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and HealthHopkinton
  2. 2.Harvard School of Public HealthBoston

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