Does Kinesiophobia Modify the Effect of Physical Therapy on Outcome in Patients With Sciatica in Primary Care?

A higher level of kinesiophobia seems to be related to poor recovery in patients with sciatica. This study sought to investigate if kinesiophobia modifies the effect of physical therapy on outcome in patients with sciatica. Kinesiophobia at baseline interacted with physical therapy in the analysis with leg pain intensity at 12-months follow-up (interaction effect for TSK and SQK: p=0.07 and p<0.01, respectively). Kinesiophobia did not interact with physical therapy at baseline in regards to any outcome at 3-months follow-up or recovery at 12-months follow-up. When comparing both treatment groups in the 73 patients 'suggestive of high fear of movement', the only significant result was found for leg pain intensity difference from baseline at 12-months follow-up (-5.0 (±2.6) for the patients randomized to physical therapy versus -3.6 (±2.7) for the patients in the control group).

In these patients with sciatica, preliminary evidence was found that patients with a higher level of kinesiophobia at baseline may particularly benefit from physical therapy with regard to reducing leg pain severity at 12-months follow-up.