Pain-related self-efficacy among back pain patients: A systematic review of assessment tools


Background: The aim of the present study was to provide a systematic review on which self-efficacy scales are being used among back pain patients and to evaluate their psychometric properties. Methods: A systematic search was executed in January 2019 and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta?Analyses 2009 checklist served as a guide for conducting the study. Electronic databases included CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, PsycINFO, PSYNDEX, and Sport Discus. Publications in English or German language that focused on adult patient population suffering from back pain and provided validation or reliability measures on pain-related self?efficacy were included. Results: A total of 1.306 records were identified resulting in 671 documents after duplicates were removed. 233 studies were screened full-text and a total of 52 studies addressing 23 different measures of pain-related self-efficacy were included in the quality analysis. The most commonly used instruments were the Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire and the Chronic Pain Self-Efficacy Scale. All studies reported internal consistency but many studies lacked other aspects of reliability and validity. Conclusion: Further research should focus on assessing validity and interpretability of these questionnaires, especially in pain-related target groups. Researchers should select questionnaires that are most appropriate for their study aims and back pain population and contribute to further validation of these scales to best predict future behavior and develop intervention programs. Perspective: Many pain-related self-efficacy questionnaires do not fulfill all psychometric properties, especially for the practical use in clinical populations. This systematic review aids selection of pain-related assessment tools in back pain both in research and practice.

Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank Till Lothar Möller for his support in literature research.