A systematic review of instruments for the assessment of work-related psychosocial factors (Blue Flags) in individuals with non-specific low back pain

Heather Gray, Abiodun T. Adefolarin, Tracey E. Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In individuals with low back pain (LBP) psychosocial factors can act as obstacles to return to work. A coloured Flags Framework has been conceptualised, in which Blue Flags represent work-related psychosocial issues. This systematic review was conducted to appraise available instruments for the assessment of Blue Flags in working age adults with non-specific LBP. The Ovid versions of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, AMED and CINAHL databases were searched from inception until the first week of March 2010; additionally, experts and study authors were contacted. Two authors independently selected studies, extracted data and assessed methodological quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-543
Number of pages13
JournalManual Therapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011



  • low back pain
  • assessment
  • systematic review

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