Content » Vol 46, Issue 7

Original report

Patterns of reported problems in women and men with back and neck pain: Similarities and differences

Gunilla Stenberg, Anders Lundquist, Anncristine Fjellman-Wiklund, Christina Ahlgren
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå University, SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1830


Objective: To examine similarities and differences in problem areas reported by women and men who seek physiotherapy for back or neck pain.
Methods: Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to analyse questionnaire data including demographics, pain, domestic work, stress, health status, physical disability, psychosocial and physical workload, kinesiophobia and self-
efficacy. Most of the questions were recruited from a number
of scales, e.g. EuroQol (EQ-5D), Neck Disability Index (NDI), Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ), Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, and Functional-Efficacy-Scale.
Results: A total of 118 patients (84 women, 34 men) completed the questionnaire. Men and women scored similarly on physical disability, functional self-efficacy and kinesiophobia, but women scored higher on stress reactions and pain intensity. PCA showed that questions about physical disability and functional self-efficacy comprised the first component and explained most of the variance in this patient group. Questions about stress and social support at work constituted the second component. Questions about domestic workload and pain comprised the third component. Gender differences were found in the second and third components.
Conclusion: In general, women and men answered questions similarly, but there were differences: more women reported stress, pain and low support at work and more men reported a lower domestic workload.

Lay Abstract


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