The Comparison of Psychological Barriers Between Individuals with a History of Anterior Knee Pain, Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction, and Healthy Individuals.
Zuk EF, Kim S, Burland JP, Glaviano NR.
Background: Psychological barriers due to anterior knee pain (AKP) and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) may have a direct impact on an individual’s return to physical activity. A comprehensive understanding of these psychological barriers in individuals with AKP and ACLR may help clinicians to develop and implement better treatment strategies to address deficits that may exist in these individuals.
Hypothesis/Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate fear-avoidance, kinesiophobia, and pain catastrophizing in individuals with AKP and ACLR compared with healthy individuals. The secondary purpose was to directly compare psychological characteristics between the AKP and ACLR groups. It was hypothesized that 1) individuals with AKP and ACLR would self-report worse psychosocial function than healthy individuals and 2) the extent of the psychosocial impairments between the two knee pathologies would be similar.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Methods: Eighty-three participants (28 AKP, 26 ACLR, and 29 healthy individuals) were analyzed in this study. Fear avoidance belief questionnaire (FABQ) with the physical activity (FABQ-PA) and sport (FABQ-S) subscales, Tampa scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK-11) and pain catastrophizing scale (PCS) assessed psychological characteristics. Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare the FABQ-PA, FABQ-S, TSK-11, and PCS scores across the three groups. Mann-Whitney U tests were performed to determine where group differences occurred. Effect sizes (ES) were calculated with the Mann-Whitney U z-score divided by the square root of the sample size.
Results: Individuals with AKP or ACLR had significantly worse psychological barriers compared to the healthy individuals for all questionnaires (FABQ-PA, FABQ-S, TSK-11, and PCS) (p<0.001, ES>0.86). There were no differences between the AKP and ACLR groups (p≥0.67), with a medium ES (-0.33) in the FABQ-S between AKP and ACLR groups.
Conclusion: Greater psychological scores indicate impaired psychological readiness to perform physical activity. Clinicians should be aware of fear-related beliefs following knee-related injuries and are encouraged to measure psychological factors during the rehabilitation process.
Level of Evidence: 2