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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 206263, 9 pages
Clinical Study

The Relationship between Beliefs about Pain and Functioning with Rheumatologic Conditions

1Department of Anaesthesia, University of Otago, P.O. Box 4345, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
2Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, P.O. Box 4345, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand

Received 6 March 2012; Revised 12 April 2012; Accepted 29 April 2012

Academic Editor: K. S. Sunnerhagen

Copyright © 2012 Tracey Pons 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.


Pain beliefs influence understanding of pain mechanisms and outcomes. This study in rheumatologic conditions sought to determine a relationship between beliefs about pain and functioning. Participants in Arthritis New Zealand’s (ANZ) exercise and education programmes were used. Demographic data and validated instruments used included the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scale 2nd version-Short Form (AIMS2-SF) to measure functioning, and two scales of organic and psychological beliefs in Pain Beliefs Questionnaires (PBQ) to measure pain beliefs. 236 Members of ANZ were surveyed anonymously with AIMS2-SF and PBQ, with a 61% response rate; 144 responses were entered into the database. This study used α of 0.05 and a 1-β of 0.8 to detect for significant effect size estimated to be . Analysis revealed a significant relationship between organic beliefs scale of PBQ and functioning of AIMS2-SF, with an value of 0.32 and value of 0.00008. No relationship was found between psychological beliefs scale of PBQ and AIMS2-SF. Organic pain beliefs are associated with poorer functioning. Psychological pain beliefs are not. Beliefs might have been modified by ANZ programmes. Clinicians should address organic pain beliefs early in consultation. Causal links between organic pain beliefs and functioning should be clarified.