Behaviour Research and Therapy vol:43 issue:10 pages:1347-61
The main objective of the present study was to investigate the benefits of exposure to a variety of movements versus exposure to the same movements on overprediction of pain and behavioural performance on a final behavioural test in a sample of chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients. Eighty-four CLBP patients were requested to perform four behavioural tests. Patients were assigned to two experimental conditions. The final behavioural test was the same for all patients. The first three behavioural tests consisted of three different movements in condition 1 and of three times the same movement in condition 2. During each behavioural test, baseline pain, expected pain and experienced pain were recorded. Furthermore, the peak torque and the variability of the produced muscle strength during the final behavioural test were assessed. Replicating and extending previous research, we found that patients overpredicted pain during a threatening behavioural test. Furthermore, pain-related fear and pain catastrophizing showed to be unique predictors of the peak torque of the final behavioural test. No support was found for our hypothesis that varied exposure facilitates generalization of exposure effects. Possible reasons for the failure to find an advantageous effect of varied-stimulus exposure and ideas for future research are discussed.