Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

Robert J Gatchel


The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence, risk factors and treatment outcomes for patients with various chronic disabling occupational musculoskeletal disorders (CDOMD) seeking tertiary treatment. The majority of the research available on CDOMD has focused on patients with chronic lumbar injuries. This current study evaluated patients with chronic upper extremity, cervical, lower extremity and multiple site musculoskeletal disorders in comparison to those with lumbar disorders. The participants in this study consisted of 3,492 patients entering a regional functional restoration program between the years 1997-2007. A series of univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were conducted to identify any key differences between the non-lumbar groups and the lumbar group on validated assessments covering demographic, injury-specific, psychosocial, and work-related factors. Further comparisons were made between the non-lumbar and lumbar groups with respect to socioeconomic outcomes one-year post-treatment. The general results showed that patients with non-lumbar injuries were more likely to be female and to have undergone surgery prior to admission to functional restoration rehabilitation. Patients with lumbar injuries were more likely to report higher levels of perceived disability and to develop dependency on opioid medication. The non-lumbar and lumbar groups did not differ on post-treatment socioeconomic outcomes. All patients were equally likely to return-to-work and to retain work following treatment. Furthermore, no differences were found in post-treatment healthcare-seeking behaviors or post-treatment surgeries. In conclusion, interdisciplinary treatment programs, such as functional restoration, are as successful in post-treatment socioeconomic outcomes for patients with chronic non-lumbar musculoskeletal injuries (i.e., upper extremity, cervical, lower extremity and multiple site) as they are for patients with chronic lumbar disabilities.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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Psychology Commons