Up to now, the main focus of analysis has been on determinants of the application for and utilization of medical rehabilitation due to back pain. The prevalence and determinants of motivational and volitional preceding stages of the application have not yet been well examined. Therefore, this study analyses the prevalence and determinants of the wish for rehabilitation and the intention to apply.
Data were derived from the baseline survey of a cohort study including a sample of 45,000 persons randomly drawn from the statutory pension agencies (GPI North and GPI Central Germany). The baseline data of persons aged 45-59 years with back pain within the past 3 months, neither receiving disability pension nor medical rehabilitation during the past 4 years were analysed. Determinants of the wish for rehabilitation and the intention to apply were identified using multivariate logistic regression analyses.
2,348 of the 6,549 persons with back pain (36%) wished to participate in a rehabilitation program. Of these 774 (33%) declared their intention to apply. Both dependent variables were strongly associated with the social support by family and friends. The wish for rehabilitation was also strongly determined by the previous experience with rehabilitation services. Another important determinant of the intention to apply was the support by physicians and therapists. Other factors were found to influence both dependent variables differently.
In order to improve the need-based access to rehabilitation, the preceding stages (wish for rehabilitation and intention to apply) and their partly different determinants should be considered. The support by family and friends as well as physicians and therapists are important. This is a further indication that information and the involvement of these actors are key elements to ensure an acquired access to rehabilitation.

Thieme. All rights reserved.