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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 675915, 5 pages
Research Article

The Beliefs of Third-Level Healthcare Students towards Low-Back Pain

Department of Clinical Therapies, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Received 21 January 2014; Accepted 24 March 2014; Published 10 April 2014

Academic Editor: Giustino Varrassi

Copyright © 2014 Norelee Kennedy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Beliefs held by healthcare providers are part of the complex recovery of a patient with low-back pain (LBP). The aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes and beliefs of Irish university healthcare students towards LBP. Methods. Physiotherapy ( ), medicine ( ), nursing, and midwifery ( ) students completed the survey. Demographic data, LBP related beliefs [Back Beliefs Questionnaire (BBQ) and the Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire physical subsection (FABQ-PA)] were collected. Results. Two hundred and seventy-one students responded (response rate 29%). Student physiotherapists had significantly lower FABQ ( ) scores than medical (95% CI [−5.492, −1.406]) and nursing students (95% CI [−7.718, −22.307]). Physiotherapy students had significantly higher BBQ scores ( ) than medical (95% CI [1.490, 5.406]) and nursing students (95% CI [6.098, 11.283]). Beliefs of physiotherapy and medical students were significantly better among fourth-year year than first-year students ( ) but were not significantly different for nursing students ( for FABQ and for BBQ). Conclusions. Physiotherapy students had more positive beliefs towards LBP than medical and nursing students. Physiotherapy and medical students’ beliefs towards LBP significantly improved over the course of their studies.