Return to Work Self-Efficacy (RTWSE-19) Assessment for Patients with Acute Work-Related Low Back Pain


      • Injured patients often state that their work activities were the origin of their symptoms.
      • Those who are out of work for more than 3 months will remain off work longer.
      • Advanced age of individuals was found to contribute to faster return to work.
      • Those with moderate self-efficacy scores took longer to RTW than those with low scores.
      • There is a need to further study the links between the self-efficacy, resilience, and coping ability after a work injury.


      Nurse practitioners (NPs) often see patients with occupational back pain. Research indicates that hesitation to return to work (RTW) is largely due to perceptions of being unable to resume job tasks or meet expectations. This pilot study evaluates whether the Return-to-Work Self-Efficacy–19 (RTWSE-19) questionnaire, which has been used for injuries at other anatomical sites, is appropriate for lower back pain. The RTWSE-19 was administered to 30 patients who presented with a complaint of an acute work-related back pain; however, it was found to be nonpredictive of RTW, suggesting that NPs should identify other tools to assess their patients’ ability to RTW.


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      Maximilian, Button DNP, FNP-BC, is an instructor, Saint Anthony College of Nursing Rockford, IL, and can be contacted at [email protected]


      Matthew Dalstrom, PhD, MPH is a professor at Saint Anthony College of Nursing, Rockford, IL.


      Andrea Doughty, PhD, is an associate professor at Saint Anthony College of Nursing, Rockford, IL.


      Shannon Lizer, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP is an Interim President, Saint Anthony College of Nursing, Rockford, IL and Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, Peoria, IL.


      Brandie Messer, DNP, RN CPOE, is coordinator DNP Program at Anthony College of Nursing, Rockford, IL.