Can the Pain Attitudes and Beliefs Scales Be Adapted for Use in the Context of Osteoarthritis With General Practitioners and Physiotherapists?
O'Brien, DW; Bassett, S; Wright-St Clair, V; Siegert, RJ
MetadataShow full metadata
Background: Conservative, first-line treatments (exercise, education and weight-loss if appropriate) for hip and knee joint osteoarthritis are underused despite the known benefits. Clinicians' beliefs can affect the advice and education given to patients, in turn, this can influence the uptake of treatment. In New Zealand, most conservative OA management is prescribed by general practitioners (GPS; primary care physicians) and physiotherapists. Few questionnaires have been designed to measure GPS' and physiotherapists' osteoarthritis-related health, illness and treatment beliefs. This study aimed to identify if a questionnaire about low back pain beliefs, the Pain Attitudes and Beliefs Scale for Physiotherapists (PABS-PT), can be adapted to assess GP and physiotherapists' beliefs about osteoarthritis. Methods: This study used a cross-sectional observational design. Data were collected anonymously from GPS and physiotherapists using an online survey. The survey included a study-specific demographic and occupational characteristics questionnaire and the PABS-PT questionnaire adapted for osteoarthritis. All data were analysed using descriptive statistics, and the PABS-PT data underwent principal factor analysis. Results: In total, 295 clinicians (87 GPS, 208 physiotherapists) participated in this study. The principal factor analysis identified two factors or subscales (categorised as biomedical and behavioural), with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.84 and 0.44, respectively. Conclusions: The biomedical subscale of the PABS-PT appears appropriate for adaptation for use in the context of osteoarthritis, but the low internal consistency of the behavioural subscale suggests this subscale is not currently suitable. Future research should consider the inclusion of additional items to the behavioural subscale to improve internal consistency or look to develop a new, osteoarthritis-specific questionnaire. Trial registration: This trial was part of the primary author's PhD, which began in 2012 and therefore this study was not registered.