The prevalence of self-reported psychological characteristics of adults with lower limb tendinopathy

Jack Mest, B. Vaughan, J. Mulcahy, P. Malliaras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. There is an emerging body of literature describing psychological associations with lower limb tendinopathies. The literature suggests that those experiencing a lower limb tendinopathy are likely to experience varying degrees of kinesiophobia, depression and catastrophisation. These studies have typically been confined to one lower limb tendinopathy. The current study sought to explore whether these psychological influences were experienced across a range of lower limb tendinopathies in a clinical practice setting. Materials and methods. The current study utilised a cross-sectional cohort design to explore associations between those presenting with any lower limb tendinopathy and psychological factors. Consecutive patients attending a private physiotherapy practice in Melbourne (Australia) were invited to participate. Those who chose to participate were invited to complete a health questionnaire along with the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale (HADS), Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia and the Life Orientation Test – Revised. Results. Ninety-one patients were recruited, with just over half identifying as male, and more than half experiencing a tendinopathy for more than twelve months. Nearly two-thirds (63.7%) of the cohort demonstrated kinesiophobia (n=58, 63.7%). Patients were classified as depressed in 13% of cases while 21% were classified as anxious. Conclusions. Routine screening for kinesiophobia may be valuable for patients presenting with any lower limb tendinopathy. The results also support the potential value of screening patients for the presence of anxiety and/or depression. The extent to which these psychological influences are associated with individual patient’s experience of lower limb tendinopathy, requires further exploration, as does the development of these influences over the duration of the tendinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-671
Number of pages13
JournalMuscles, Ligaments and Tendons Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Kinesiophobia
  • Optimism
  • Psychological
  • Tendinopathy

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