Patterns of reported problems in women and men with back and neck pain

This study aimed to examine similarities and differences in problem areas reported by females and males who seek physiotherapy for back or neck pain. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to analyse questionnaire data including demographics, pain, domestic work, stress, health status, physical disability, psychosocial and physical workload, kinesiophobia and self- efficacy. The majority of the questions were recruited from a number of scales, e.g. EuroQol (EQ-5D), Neck Disability Index (NDI), Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ), Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, and Functional-Efficacy-Scale. Results: A total of 118 patients (84 women, 34 men) completed the questionnaire. Men and women scored similarly on physical disability, functional self-efficacy and kinesiophobia, but women scored higher on stress reactions and pain intensity. PCA showed that questions about physical disability and functional self-efficacy comprised the first component and explained most of the variation in this patient group. Questions about stress and social support at work constituted the second component. Questions about domestic workload and pain comprised the third component. Gender differences were discovered in the second and third components.

Typically, women and men answered questions similarly, but there were differences: a greater number of women reported stress, pain and low support at work and a greater number of men reported a lower domestic workload.