Psychosocial variables and presence, severity and prognosis of plantar heel pain: A systematic review of cross-sectional and prognostic associations

Chris Drake*, Adrian Mallows, Chris Littlewood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Plantar heel pain (PHP) is often disabling, and persistent symptoms are common. Psychosocial variables are known to affect pain and disability but the association of these factors with PHP has yet to be established. The purpose of the present systematic review was to determine if psychosocial variables are associated with the presence, severity and prognosis of PHP. Methods: A systematic review of the literature and qualitative synthesis was carried out. Electronic searches of MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO and EMBASE were undertaken from the inception of the respective databases up to November 2017. Any study design incorporating measurements of psychosocial variables with participants with plantar heel pain were included. The quality of included articles was appraised using the Newcastle Ottawa Scale. Results: Five articles from four studies were included in the review, with a total of 422 participants. Moderate-level evidence suggested a clinically unimportant association with the incidence of PHP and depression, anxiety and stress, and limited evidence suggested a clinically unimportant association with job dissatisfaction. Moderate-level evidence suggested that there may also be an association between depression, anxiety, stress and catastrophization and PHP pain, and between depression, anxiety, stress, catastrophization and kinesiophobia and PHP function. We also found moderate-level evidence that a psychological disorder may be associated with a poorer outcome to shockwave therapy. Conclusion: In light of this review, the association of psychosocial variables and plantar heel pain cannot be ruled out. Given recommendations to adopt an individualized and stratified approach to other musculoskeletal conditions, clinicians should remain vigilant to their presence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-338
Number of pages10
JournalMusculoskeletal Care
Volume16
Issue number3
Early online date15 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • plantar heel pain
  • presence: severity
  • prognosis
  • psychosocial variables
  • systematic review

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