OBJECTIVE: Kinesiophobia has been proposed to influence recovery in individuals with Achilles tendinopathy. However, whether there are differences in outcomes in individuals with different levels of kinesiophobia is unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare the characteristics of patients at baseline and recovery over time in individuals with Achilles tendinopathy and various levels of kinesiophobia.
METHODS: This study was a secondary analysis of a prospective observational cohort study of 59 individuals with Achilles tendinopathy. The participants were divided into 3 groups on the basis of scores on the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK) (those with low TSK scores [≤33; low TSK group], those with medium TSK scores [34-41; medium TSK group], and those with high TSK scores [≥42; high TSK group]). All participants were evaluated with self-reported outcomes, clinical evaluation, tendon morphology, viscoelastic property measurements, and a calf muscle endurance test at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. No treatment was provided throughout the study period.
RESULTS: There were 16 participants (8 women) in the low TSK group (age = 51.9 [SD = 15.3] years, body mass index [BMI] = 24.3 [22.3-25.4]), 28 participants (13 women) in the medium TSK group (age = 52.7 [SD = 15.2] years, BMI = 26.4 [22.5-30.8]), and 15 participants (8 women) in the high TSK group (age = 61.1 [SD = 11.1] years, BMI = 28.1 [25.2-33.6]). Among the groups at baseline, the high TSK group had significantly greater BMI and symptom severity and lower quality of life. All groups showed significant improvement over time for all outcomes except tendon viscoelastic properties and tendon thickening when there was an adjustment for baseline BMI. The high and medium TSK groups saw decreases in kinesiophobia at 6 months, but there was no change for the low TSK group.
CONCLUSION: Despite the high TSK group having the highest BMI and the worse symptom severity and quality of life at baseline, members of this group showed improvements in all of the outcome domains similar to those of the other groups over 12 months.
IMPACT: Evaluating the degree of kinesiophobia in individuals with Achilles tendinopathy might be of benefit for understanding how they are affected by the injury. However, the degree of kinesiophobia at baseline does not seem to affect recovery; this finding could be due to the patients receiving education about the injury and expectations of recovery.
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- Achilles Tendon/injuries
- Middle Aged
- Pain Measurement
- Prospective Studies
- Recovery of Function
- Surveys and Questionnaires