Podcast 03: Enduring explanations and building beliefs in people with back pain- with Dr Ben Darlow


In this episode of The Words Matter Podcast, I spoke with Dr Ben Darlow. Ben is a clinician, teacher and researcher. He works clinically as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Specialist based in private practice in Wellington, New Zealand.

His teaching and research are based in the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice at the University of Otago. More about Ben's academic work. His research interests lie in the understanding and management of common musculoskeletal conditions like low back pain and osteoarthritis. here.
Many of you will be aware of Ben’s excellent research into back pain beliefs, both his qualitative work especially his papers “The enduring impact of what clinicians say to patients with LBP” (see here), and “Easy to harm and hard to heal, patients view about the back” (see here), plus the development of the back pain attitudes questionnaire otherwise known as the BACK-PAQ tool which is now widely used by researchers across the globe in the study of back pain beliefs and attitudes (see here). His work features heavily in the online course on effective language and communication in the management of back pain (details here).
In this episode we talked about the nature, origins and importance of back pain beliefs. We dig down into the role of the clinician in co-structuring beliefs, narratives and frameworks with people experiencing back pain. We explored the challenges and opportunities of providing diagnoses and explanations to people in pain.
I was really excited to speak to Ben, he was way up on the list of people I wanted to have on the show and his work has been hugely transformative for my own clinical work and I know influential for many MSK colleagues.  Ben is a wealth of knowledge and able to relate his knowledge of the evidence to clinical practice in immensely engaging, passionate and accessible way. I bring You Dr Ben Darlow.
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Artwork by Freya Gilmore (here)

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