Fear Avoidance Beliefs in Upper-Extremity Musculoskeletal Pain Conditions: Secondary Analysis of a Prospective Clinical Study on Digital Care Programs
High fear-avoidance beliefs (FAB) have been associated with higher musculoskeletal (MSK) pain, higher disability, poorer prognosis, and decreased adherence to exercise-based treatments. This is the first study to show evidence of the benefits of a structured home-based digital physical therapy program in the management of MSK pain in patients with high FAB. This study found that the biopsychosocial approach of Sword Health’s multimodal program, plus the gradual exposure to exercise tailored by our physical therapists, is an effective strategy for patients with high FAB levels. More importantly, we show that reductions in disability can be achieved in these patients.