Measuring perceived harmfulness of physical activities in patients with chronic low back pain: the Photograph Series of Daily Activities--short electronic version

M. Leeuw*, M.E.J.B. Goossens, G.J.P. van Breukelen, K. Boersma, J.W.S. Vlaeyen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cognitive-behavioral models of chronic low back pain (CLBP) predict that dysfunctional assumptions about the harmfulness of activities may maintain pain-related fear and disability levels. The Photograph Series of Daily Activities (PHODA) is an instrument to determine the perceived harmfulness of daily activities in patients with CLBP. This study examined the psychometric properties of a short electronic version of the PHODA (PHODA-SeV). The results show that the PHODA-SeV measures a single factor and has a high internal consistency. The test-retest reliability and stability of the PHODA-SeV over a 2-week time interval are good, with discrepancies between 2 measurements over 20 points suggesting true change. The construct validity is supported by the finding that both self-reported pain severity and fear of movement/(re)injury were uniquely related to the PHODA-SeV. Validity is further corroborated by the finding that patients who have received exposure in vivo, that aimed to systematically reduce the perceived harmfulness of activities, had significantly lower PHODA-SeV scores after treatment than patients receiving graded activity that did not address these assumptions. The findings support the PHODA-SeV as a valid and reliable measure of the perceived harmfulness of activities in patients with CLBP. Preliminary normative data of the PHODA-SeV are presented. Perspective: This article describes a pictorial measurement too/(PHODA-SeV) for the assessment of the perceived harmfulness of activities in patients with chronic low back pain. The PHODA-SeV has good psychometric properties and can be used to elaborate on the contribution of beliefs about harmful consequences of activities to pain and disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-949
JournalThe Journal of Pain
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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