Negative influence of a mediatised video on low back pain-related misbeliefs and attitudes in the general population


  • Christophe Demoulin University of Liege, Université Catholique de Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium
  • Mathilde Lecaillon Department of Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Liege
  • Guillaume Christe Department of Physiotherapy, HESAV School of Health Sciences, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Western Switzerland
  • Marc Vanderthommen Department of Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Laurent Pitance UCLouvain, Faculty of Motor Sciences at Université Catholique de Louvain-La-Neuve



Beliefs; Fear; Knowledge; Back pain; Communication


Background: Low back pain (LBP)-related misbeliefs are a risk factor for chronicity and thereby requires further attention.

Objective: To assess the influence of a video clip on low back pain (LBP)-related misbeliefs in the general population and examine whether participants intended to change their behavior to protect their back after viewing it.

Method: French-speaking adults within the general population were recruited through advertisements and asked to complete a self‐administered questionnaire online from the January to April 2021. The questionnaire asked about socio-demographic information and back pain beliefs (the 10-item Back-PAQ), then invited participants to watch a video clip conveying negative messages. Immediately after viewing, participants indicated their degree of agreement with the messages conveyed, completed the Back-PAQ a second time and indicated whether they planned to change their behavior after watching the video.

Changes in mean Back-PAQ score after viewing the video and the percentage of participants planning to protect their backs more were investigated. Influence of LBP history was also collected.

Results: 1338 participants were included. The initial mean Back-PAQ score was high and increased significantly after viewing the video (Cohen d: 0.42), indicating an increase in negative beliefs. This change was greater than the minimum detectable change for more than 10% of participants. In total, 55% of respondents reported that they would protect their backs more after watching the video. Change in Back-PAQ score post viewing was not influenced by pain history.

Conclusions: This study shows that a video clip shown on social media that conveyed negative messages about LBP reinforced LBP-related misbeliefs and may promote maladaptive behavior in a significant number of individuals. This study also confirms the prevalence of such misbeliefs in the general population and thereby, the necessity for clinicians to explore patients’ misbeliefs and their origin. 






Original Research