FOTO Rehab Outcomes Blog

Psychosocial Factors Related to Return to Function

Written by Selena Horner | Mar 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The biggest question I have: are psychosocial factors pliable? Meaning, can clinicians affect psychosocial factors and to what degree?

The only tool I have used with patients is the STarT back screening tool. Here's a really, really old conversation that might help you understand my thoughts. I know that I can see STarT back screening scores change from high risk to low risk in a matter of 4 visits. 

Is there another tool out there that can track that our interactions are changing psychosocial factors to improve outcomes?

Here's a quick view of the abstract. 

Psychosocial Factors Related to Functional Restoration Treatment Completion and Return-to-Function for Patients With Chronic Disabling Occupational Musculoskeletal Disorders.




The aim of this study was to identify demographic and psychosocial variables associated with successful completion of a functional restoration program and return-to-function within 3 months of treatment completion.


Three hundred seven patients admitted to the functional restoration program were evaluated for completion status and 200 patients with valid data were assessed for 3-month return-to-function status following completion. Psychosocial and functional status was assessed at baseline.


Key factors associated with program completion included lower perceived disability, lower pain, lower functional impairment, and lower fear avoidance. Factors associated with 3-month return-to-function included lower perceived disability, lower depression, greater belief that pain is not associated with impairment, and higher quality of life.


Psychosocial and functional factors contribute to both functional restoration completion and 3-month return-to-function outcomes.

J Occup Environ Med. 2017 Mar;59(3):320-326. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000953.