Purpose: Pain is a global public health problem with implications for both personal and social heath. Fear-avoidance beliefs (FABs) have been demonstrated to negatively impact and prolong pain in many Western countries, but little is known about the association between FABs and chronic pain (CP) in Asian countries, including Japan. We examined the relationship between FABs and CP in Japanese white-collar workers, a growing population with a high prevalence of CP. Methods: Questionnaires and company records were used to gather data from 433 Japanese white-collar workers. Data were related to experience of pain, participant sociodemographic/health/lifestyle characteristics, fear-avoidance beliefs [Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK)], work-related psychosocial factors (Brief Job Stress Questionnaire), and depressive illness [Psychological Distress Scale (K6)]. Analysis of covariance and multilevel logistic regression modeling were used to analyze associations between the data while controlling for factors known to influence CP prevalence. Results: Prevalence rate of CP was 11.1% (48 of 433 persons). Adjusted odds ratios for participants with CP significantly increased in participants with high TSK scores, even after adjusting for factors known to influence CP prevalence. Conclusion: We found a significant association between high TSK scores and CP in Japanese white-collar workers when controlling for other known factors that influence CP such as work-related psychosocial characteristics and depressive conditions. This finding suggests that FABs are independently associated with prevalence of CP.
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