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Psychological features and somatosensory characteristics of patellofemoral pain (PhD Academy Award)
  1. Liam Maclachlan
  1. School of Health and Rehabilitation sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Liam Maclachlan, School of Health and Rehabilitation sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia; l.maclachlan{at}

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What did I do?

I investigated the psychological factors and somatosensory characteristics in persons who had patellofemoral pain (PFP). I did this by studying how psychological factors and pain profiles: (1) presented in PFP, (2) differed between those with and without the condition, (3) related to pain and disability, (4) differed between subgroups of different PFP severities and (5) changed over time.

Why did I do it?

Pain is the poorly understood primary symptom of PFP that may have a range of underpinning mechanisms. The presence of patellofemoral joint dysfunction may result in nociception. When prolonged, nociception may catalyse altered inhibitory and sensitising processes1 that create a combined nociceptive/nociplastic profile. In lieu of tissue pathology, PFP may be purely nociplastic and driven by factors beyond the site of pain.2

Psychological factors are known to influence the experience of pain.3 In chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions, psychological factors such as anxiety, …

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  • Twitter @LiamRobMac

  • Contributors The manuscript was prepared by LM with contributions from Professor Bill Vicenzino.

  • Funding This study was funded by National Health and Medical Research Council.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.