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Incidence and Mechanisms of Musculoskeletal Injuries in Deployed Navy Active Duty Service Members Aboard Two U.S. Navy Air Craft Carriers

Hiebert, Rudi; Brennan, Tara; Campello, Marco; Lis, Angela; Ziemke, Gregg; Faulkner, Danielle; Weiser, Sherri
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:This brief report describes the number and nature of cases of musculoskeletal pain and injury among sailors and marines presenting to the ship's physical therapist during recent, respective deployments of two U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:The case definition for this study was cases of work-limiting medical complaints involving the musculoskeletal system presenting, or referred, to the ship's physical therapy services for evaluation and treatment. The population for this study was drawn from ship's company from two Nimitz class carriers on their respective deployments. Potential subjects were recruited at their index visit for their complaint. Participants completed a survey of their symptoms while at the ship's medical department. Data for analysis consist of counts of cases, body part affected, self-reported mechanism of injury, age, and gender of the subject. Data were analyzed by generating descriptive tables. RESULTS:One hundred ninety-seven cases were captured across the two carriers. Injury to the low back was the most frequent (34%), followed by shoulder (25%) and knee (15%). Twenty one cases (11%) were reported to be exacerbation of previous injuries and the rest new injuries. Of the 176 new injury cases, 93 (53%) were of an insidious onset and the remainder had a specific, identifiable onset. Of the 82 cases with a specific identifiable onset, 38 cases (46%) occurred during participation in sport and exercise activity on board ship, and the remainder of the cases occurred during the performance of duty-related work. None of the cases required evacuation off of the ship. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Care should be used interpreting the results since participants were volunteers and a small proportion of eligible subjects chose not to participate in the study. Nevertheless, our data are generally consistent with other studies of musculoskeletal injury on board U.S. Navy ships and are useful for health care planning purposes and for planning for future studies that may take place on board U.S. Navy vessels. The novel and important finding of this study suggests that sports and exercise activity on board ship may warrant a new area of attention for safety.
PMID: 32852526
ISSN: 1930-613x
CID: 4586942

"Feasibility of training physical therapists to implement a psychologically informed physical therapy program for deployed U.S. sailors and marines with musculoskeletal injuries": Corrigendum

Weiser, Sherri; Lis, Angela; Ziemke, Gregg; Hiebert, Rudi; Faulkner, Danielle; Brennan, Tara; Iveson, Brian; Campello, Marco
Reports an error in "Feasibility of training physical therapists to implement a psychologically informed physical therapy program for deployed U.S. sailors and marines with musculoskeletal injuries " by Sherri Weiser, Angela Lis, Gregg Ziemke, Rudi Hiebert, Danielle Faulkner, Tara Brennan, Brian Iveson and Marco Campello (Military Medicine, 2018[Mar-Apr], Vol 183[3-4, Suppl], 503-509). In the original article, on page 503, the author list includes "Gregg Ziemke, MSC, USN, (Ret.)" and "Brian Iveson, MSC, USN." These authors should instead be listed as Gregg Ziemke PT, MS, OCS and Brian Iveson PT, DsC, FAAOMPT. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2019-60047-071). This study assesses the feasibility of training U.S. Navy Physical Therapy staff members (PT staff) aboard a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier in psychologically informed physical therapy (PiPT). Training was conducted prior to deployment over 3 d and included background information, skills development, and application in the form of role playing and case studies. During deployment, nine phone conferences were conducted to reinforce training, assess skills, and discuss implementation. PiPT knowledge was assessed by a written test and role-playing skills. The adoption of the training was determined by analysis of clinical notes and verbal responses of the PT staff during phone conferences. There were two PT staff members on the carrier. Both received passing knowledge test scores and demonstrated role-playing proficiency. Clinical note assessment and discussions during conference calls also indicated successful implementation. The feasibility of training Navy PT staff to implement PiPT was demonstrated. PT staff successfully translated training into practice. This is significant, since PiPT has the potential to limit attrition due to musculoskeletal injuries in Navy personnel. Factors believed to be associated with the success of the training include adoption of the PiPT model by PT staff and reinforcement of changes in clinical practice during deployment.
PSYCH:2019-58839-011
ISSN: 1930-613x
CID: 4231302

Both positive and negative beliefs are important in patients with spine pain: findings from the oioc registry

Wertli, Maria M; Held, Ulrike; Lis, Angela; Campello, Marco; Weiser, Sherri
BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Negative beliefs are known to influence treatment outcome in patients with spine pain (SP). The impact of positive beliefs is less clear. PURPOSE: Assess the influence of positive and negative beliefs on baseline and treatment responses in patients with SP. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: Retrospective cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of prospectively collected data of outpatient physical therapy patients with SP. Questionnaires administered before and during treatment included the STarT Back distress scale (negative beliefs), and expectation and self-efficacy questions (positive beliefs). PATIENT SAMPLE: Patients with SP with a baseline assessment and follow-up assessment. OUTCOME MEASURE: Perceived disability (oswestry disability index (ODI) or neck disability index (NDI). A clinical meaningful change (MCID) was defined as decrease in ODI / NDI of >/=30%. METHODS: We used the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) from the first imputed dataset of the prediction model to select predictor variables. Prediction models were fitted to the outcome variables. This study was not funded and the authors have no conflict of interest to declare. RESULTS: In the cross-sectional analysis 1,695 low back pain (LBP) episodes and 487 neck pain (NP) episodes were analyzed . SBST-distress was positively associated with perceived disability in both LBP and NP; LBP (Beta 2.31, 95% CI 1.75 - 2.88) and NP (Beta 2.57, 95% CI 1.47 - 3.67). Lower self-efficacy was negatively associated with more perceived disability for LBP (Beta 0.50, 0.29 - 0.72) but not for NP while less positive expectations was associated with more perceived disability in NP (Beta 0.57, 0.02 - 1.12) but not in LBP. In the longitudinal analysis 607 LBP episodes (36%) and 176 (36%) NP episodes were included. SBST-distress did not predict treatment outcome in spine patients. In LBP, patients with a lower positive expectation were less likely to experience a MCID in perceived disability (OR per point increase 0.89, 95% CI 0.83 - 0.96) and there was a similar trend in NP (0.90, 0.79 - 1.03). In patients with LBP, lower self-efficacy at baseline was associated with a higher likelihood that an MCID was achieved (OR per point increase 1.09, 1.01 - 1.19). In NP, self-efficacy was not included in the final model. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that both negative and positive beliefs are associated with perceptions of disability however, in this study only positive beliefs were associated with treatment outcome.
PMID: 28756302
ISSN: 1878-1632
CID: 2655442

Feasibility of Training Physical Therapists to Implement a Psychologically Informed Physical Therapy Program for Deployed U.S. Sailors and Marines with Musculoskeletal Injuries

Weiser, Sherri; Lis, Angela; Ziemke, Gregg; Hiebert, Rudi; Faulkner, Danielle; Brennan, Tara; Iveson, Brian; Campello, Marco
This study assesses the feasibility of training U.S. Navy Physical Therapy staff members (PT staff) aboard a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier in psychologically informed physical therapy (PiPT). Training was conducted prior to deployment over 3 d and included background information, skills development, and application in the form of role playing and case studies. During deployment, nine phone conferences were conducted to reinforce training, assess skills, and discuss implementation. PiPT knowledge was assessed by a written test and role-playing skills. The adoption of the training was determined by analysis of clinical notes and verbal responses of the PT staff during phone conferences. There were two PT staff members on the carrier. Both received passing knowledge test scores and demonstrated role-playing proficiency. Clinical note assessment and discussions during conference calls also indicated successful implementation. The feasibility of training Navy PT staff to implement PiPT was demonstrated. PT staff successfully translated training into practice. This is significant, since PiPT has the potential to limit attrition due to musculoskeletal injuries in Navy personnel. Factors believed to be associated with the success of the training include adoption of the PiPT model by PT staff and reinforcement of changes in clinical practice during deployment.
PMID: 29635612
ISSN: 1930-613x
CID: 3036832

What do patients with spine pain learn from psychologically informed physical therapy? [Meeting Abstract]

Weiser, S; Lis, A; Brennan, T; Ziemke, G; Hiebert, R; Faulkner, D; Iveson, B; Southerst, D; Campello, M
Background: Psychologically informed physical therapy (PIPT) requires physical therapy (PT) staff to address common psychological risk factors, such as patients' understanding and beliefs about spine pain (SP), to reduce the risk of disability. However, the effect of this treatment on patients' perceptions of their SP has not been studied. We developed a training program for physical therapists aboard a United States Navy Aircraft Carrier aimed at modifying psychological risk factors in active duty services members (ADSM) with SP, and queried subjects about what they learned from PT to determine the effect of PIPT on their SP beliefs. Purpose: To determine what patients with SP learn from PIPT. Methods: This is a qualitative analysis of data obtained from a larger controlled study on two US Navy Aircraft Carriers, testing the effectiveness of PIPT for all musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) in ADSM. Physical therapists and PT technicians in the intervention arm participated in a 3-day PIPT course that was reinforced during deployment. Four weeks post-enrollment, subjects completed an open-ended question: "please list the most important thing(s) you learned in physical therapy", to determine if messages that subjects received from PT staff differed between study groups. Concepts consistent with PIPT messages were established a priori and used to guide the qualitative analysis of the responses (e.g. I understand the mind/body connection, pain is not damage). Three blinded raters independently assessed subjects' responses. Subjects were considered to have understood the PIPT based message when all raters agreed that a response reflected PIPT concepts or when consensus was reached. PIPT concepts were considered absent from all other responses. Results: Of the 47 SP intervention subjects, two (4.3%) did not answer the study question, compared to six (26.1%) of the 23 SP control subjects. Among patients with SP, 20 (42.6%) of the responses reflected PIPT concepts in the intervention carrier compared to zero in the control carrier. Only nine (23.7%) of the intervention subjects with all other MSIs listed statements reflecting PIPT concepts. Conclusion: This is the first study to examine the transfer of PIPT knowledge from PT staff to the patient. Effectiveness of PIPT requires that specific messages are communicated by the PT staff and absorbed by the patient. Almost half of the subjects with SP exposed to PIPT listed statements reflective of PIPT concepts among the most important things learned during physical therapy. In contrast, no subjects in the control arm did so. Subjects with SP also had a higher percentage of responses reflecting PIPT concepts than subjects with other MSIs, suggesting that this approach may be particularly helpful for patients with SP Further studies to assess the impact of PIPT on patient beliefs and functional outcomes are ongoing
EMBASE:618721951
ISSN: 1432-0932
CID: 2751132

Obesity is associated with more disability at presentation and after treatment in low back pain but not in neck pain: findings from the OIOC registry

Wertli, Maria M; Held, Ulrike; Campello, Marco; Schecter Weiner, Shira
BACKGROUND: The influence on the treatment response in patients with low back pain (LBP) and neck pain (NP) is unknown. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of body weight in patients with low back pain (LBP) and neck pain (NP) on baseline and end of treatment disability. METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline factors. Longitudinal analysis of prospectively collected patient information at an outpatient physical therapy registry (data from June 2010 to December 2012). WHO-BMI classification was used: underweight, lean, overweight, obesity class I, obesity class II and III. The influence of body weight and a predefined set of confounders was analyzed by multiple regression models. RESULTS: In LBP, disability increased with increasing BMI [lean = reference, obesity class I Beta 5.41 (95 % CI 0.75; 10.07), obesity class II-III Beta 7.58 (95 % CI 2.13; 13.03)]. Compared to lean patients, disability after treatment improved in overweight subjects [Beta -3.90 (95 % CI -7.4; -0.41)] but not in subjects with obesity class II-III [Beta 3.43 (95 % CI -3.81; 10.68)]. There were insufficient patients in the sample with severe obesity and therefore this trend has to be confirmed. The likelihood for meaningful important change (MID) was similar in all BMI subgroups. For patients with NP, BMI was not associated with baseline disability, and did not predict end of treatment disability or the likelihood of a MID. These findings must be interpreted with caution as BMI subgroups did not meet the required sample size. CONCLUSION: Overweight and obesity are associated with higher levels of disability before treatment in LBP patients, but not in NP. In severely obese patients class II-III with LBP the rate of MID was lowest indicating that these patients experienced the least treatment response compared to the other groups. Further studies should address the impact of severe obesity on the prognosis of LBP. In patients with LBP, severe obesity may be an important factor to consider during the physical therapy treatment. In particular, combined treatment strategies combining weight management, cardiovascular fitness, and low back pain rehabilitation should be investigated.
PMCID:4815184
PMID: 27036857
ISSN: 1471-2474
CID: 2065442

Does Coordinated, Multidisciplinary Treatment Limit Medical Disability and Attrition Related to Spine Conditions in the US Navy?

Ziemke, Gregg; Campello, Marco; Hiebert, Rudi; Weiner, Shira Schecter; Rennix, Chris; Nordin, Margareta
BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal conditions account for the largest proportion of cases resulting in early separation from the US Navy. This study evaluates the impact of the Spine Team, a multidisciplinary care group that included physicians, physical therapists, and a clinical psychologist, for the treatment of active-duty service members with work-disabling, nonspecific low back pain at the Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA, USA. We compared the impact of the introduction of the Spine Team in limiting disability and attrition from work-disabling spine conditions with the experience of the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA, USA, where there is no comparable spine team. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: Is a multidisciplinary spine team effective in limiting disability and attrition related to work-disabling spine conditions as compared with the current standard of care for US military active-duty service members? METHODS: This is a retrospective, pre-/post-study with a separate, concurrent control group using administratively collected data from two large military medical centers during the period 2007 to 2009. In this study, disability is expressed as the proportion of active-duty service members seeking treatment for a work-disabling spine condition that results in the assignment of a first-career limited-duty status. Attrition is expressed as the proportion of individuals assigned a first-career limited-duty status for a work-disabling spine condition who were referred to a Physical Evaluation Board. We analyzed 667 individuals assigned a first-career limited-duty for a work-disabling spine condition between 2007 and 2009 who received care at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth or Naval Medical Center San Diego. RESULTS: Rates of first-career limited-duty assignments for spine conditions decreased from 2007 to 2009 at both sites, but limited-duty rates decreased to a greater extent at the intervention site (Naval Medical Center Portsmouth; from 8.5 per 100 spine cases in 2007 to 5.1 per 100 cases in 2009, p < 0.001) as compared with the control site (Naval Medical Center San Diego; 16.0 per 100 spine cases in 2007 and 14.1 per 100 cases in 2009, p = 0.38) after the Spine Team was implemented in 2008. The risk of disability was lower at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth as compared with Naval Medical Center San Diego for each of the 3 years studied (in 2007, the relative risk was 0.53 [95% confidence limit {CL}, 0.42-0.68; p < 0.001]) indicating a protective effect of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in limiting disability (in 2008, it was 0.58 [95% CL, 0.45-0.73; p < 0.001] and in 2009 0.34 [95% CL, 0.27-0.47; p < 0.001]); the relative risk improved in 2009 after the introduction of the Spine Team at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. There were no differences observed in rates of attrition from the period before the introduction of the Spine Team to after at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and no overall differences could be statistically detected between the two sites. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides suggestive evidence that a multi-disciplinary Spine Team may be effective in limiting disability. No conclusion can be drawn about the Spine Team's effectiveness in limiting attrition. Additional study is warranted to examine the effect of the timing of the introduction of multidisciplinary care for work-disabling spine conditions. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, therapeutic study.
PMCID:4523524
PMID: 25968894
ISSN: 1528-1132
CID: 1608982

Predictors of short-term work-related disability among active duty US Navy personnel: a cohort study in patients with acute and subacute low back pain

Hiebert, R; Campello, MA; Weiser, S; Ziemke, GW; Fox, BA; Nordin, M
BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Musculoskeletal disorders of the spine in the US military account for the single largest proportion of the absence of sickness causes leading to early termination. We explored if selected psychological and physical factors were associated with poor outcome after episodes of low back pain (LBP). PURPOSE: To identify clinical, demographic, and psychological factors predictive of work duty status after a complaint of LBP. STUDY DESIGN: A prospective clinical cohort of US Navy personnel treated for LBP. PATIENT SAMPLE: Eligible cases were active duty US Navy or Marine Corps personnel presenting to an emergency clinic or primary care clinic with a complaint of LBP, where the index episode of LBP was no more than 12 weeks duration before enrollment. OUTCOME MEASURES: The subject's work status (full duty, light duty, sick in quarters [SIQ], limited duty, or medically released to full duty) was abstracted from the subject's electronic medical record at approximately 4 weeks and then again 12 weeks after study enrollment. Work status in this study population is assigned by a Navy health-care provider at the time of a clinical visit and based on the health-care provider's determination of medical fitness for duty. This study collapsed work status into two groups, "full duty" (consisting of "full duty" and "medically released to full duty") and "not at full duty" (consisting of "light duty," "SIQ," and "limited duty"). METHODS: Volunteers completed a baseline questionnaire consisting of recommended well-validated measures, including attitudes and beliefs about LBP and work (Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire [FABQ] and the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia), distress (the Pain Catastrophizing Scale), clinical depression (The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale), a numeric pain intensity scale, self-perceived disability (Oswestry Disability Index), and general health status (12-Item Short Form Health Survey). Navy health-care providers conducted a back pain-specific medical evaluation. Associations are expressed as multivariate-adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) estimated using Poisson regression. RESULTS: Two hundred fifty-three participants were enrolled. Work status outcome was collected for 239 participants. Predictors of "not at full duty" at 4 weeks after enrollment included having back pain for 4 weeks or less before study enrollment (PR, 2.69; 95% CI, 1.21-5.97) and increased FABQ Work subscale score (PR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.01-1.08). The sole predictor of work status at 12 weeks after enrollment was increased FABQ Physical Activity (FABQ Physical) subscale score (PR=1.14; 95% CI, 1.00-1.30). CONCLUSIONS: The findings that fear-avoidance beliefs were predictive of subsequent work status among active duty service personnel in this study population (after adjusting for clinical, demographic, and psychological covariates) suggest the clinical utility of addressing these factors during treatment of back pain episodes in the military. These findings reflect the important role that psychological factors may play in the return to work process in an active duty military population.
PMID: 22227177
ISSN: 1529-9430
CID: 167274

Implementation of a multidisciplinary program for active duty personnel seeking care for low back pain in a U.S. Navy Medical Center: a feasibility study

Campello, Marco; Ziemke, Gregg; Hiebert, Rudi; Weiser, Sherri; Brinkmeyer, Mary; Fox, Bryan; Dail, Jessica; Kerr, Stewart; Hinnant, Ivan; Nordin, Margareta
The aim of the pilot study was to evaluate a multidisciplinary program for nonspecific low back pain (NSLBP) at a major U.S. Navy base. In this single blinded randomized clinical trial, subjects were drawn from a larger, prospective cohort of active duty service members seeking care for NSLBP pain at a U.S. Navy Branch Medical Clinic. Outcome measures included return to work, self-reported pain, function, and psychological distress. Subjects were randomly allocated to one of two study arms: a multidisciplinary reconditioning program or the current standard of care for low back pain. The intervention lasted 4 weeks with a 12-week follow-up. Thirty-three subjects were enrolled. Subjects allocated to multidisciplinary care reported significantly lower perceived disability (p = 0.014) and less pain than those allocated to usual care at the end of the intervention period. All subjects returned to their usual duty following the conclusion of the intervention. The implementation of the intervention program was successful. Subjects in the multidisciplinary program showed a clinically significant improvement in the perception of disability compared to the usual care group. This is an important finding since perception of disability is associated with long-term functional outcome.
PMID: 23025138
ISSN: 0026-4075
CID: 179096

Factors predicting clinical outcome 12 and 36 months after an exercise intervention for recurrent low-back pain

Rasmussen-Barr, Eva; Campello, Marco; Arvidsson, Inga; Nilsson-Wikmar, Lena; Ang, Bjorn-Olov
PURPOSE: The aim of this cohort study was to identify early predictive factors for a poor outcome of disability and pain 12- and 36-months after an intervention in patients with recurrent low-back pain, currently at work. METHOD: Seventy-one patients with recurrent low-back pain, all at work, seeking care in a primary health care setting were included. Predictive indicators including demographic data and health-related variables were derived from questionnaires pre- and post intervention over eight weeks. The dependent outcome variables were perceived disability and present pain at 12- and 36-months. RESULTS: Multivariate regression analyses show that early data on poor self-efficacy for physical activity, greater disability, and higher level of pain-ratings emerged as independent predictors of a poor outcome of disability at 12 and 36 months. Higher ratings of pain and poor self-efficacy appeared again as independent predictors of a poor outcome of pain at the 12-month follow-up. Pain frequency ratings predicted a poor outcome of pain at 36 months. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that ratings of poor self-efficacy for physical activity, greater disability, and pain-ratings, are the most consistent independent predictors of long-term poor outcome of disability and pain. This indicates the importance of screening for such factors to optimize the management of low-back pain. However, larger studies in similar patient populations are needed to confirm these results.
PMID: 21957887
ISSN: 0963-8288
CID: 167275