Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor's Name

Gail Hills Maguire

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Susan H. Kaplan

Third Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson


Backache, Intractable pain, Patients

Date of Defense



This study examined the relationship between chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients' perceived (stated) levels of function and their measured (observed) performance in squatting and stair climbing activities as compared to healthy volunteers. Twenty patients with CLBP and 20 healthy subjects were asked through an interview to self-assess their ability to comfortably perform stair climbing and squatting as well as other tolerances. The subjects were then asked to perform the activities and their performance levels were recorded. Results of the t-tests and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) procedures revealed that patients' estimate of squatting and stair climbing abilities as well as their demonstrated levels were significantly lower (p < 0.001) than those of the healthy subjects. There was a significant difference between groups in terms of the time required to perform squatting but not stair climbing. Both healthy subjects and patients with CLBP underestimated their physical capabilities. Findings indicate that the use of actual performance measurement combined with self-report of functional abilities is needed when assessing performance levels of both healthy as well as patients with CLBP.





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