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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,063
Online ISSN 1973-9095
Merrick D. 1,2, Sjölund B. H. 1,3
1 Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims, Copenhagen, Denmark
2 Umeå University, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Medicine, Umeå, Sweden
3 University of Southern Denmark, Department of Public Health, Odense, Denmark
Aim. The aim of this study was to monitor the outcome of a five-week cognitive-behavioral interdisciplinary rehabilitation program for patients disabled by chronic pain, utilizing data collected for a national quality registry.
Methods. The study included 255 consecutive patients from a university hospital setting. Demographic data and patient beliefs about recovery recorded on a five-category scale were collected before the program. Pain intensity (VAS), Disability Rating Index (DRI) and life satisfaction (LiSat-11) were collected before, immediately after and one year after the program. Partial respondents and non-respondents were excluded;168 patients remained.
Results. Pain intensity decreased (“pain now”; Friedman’s test, P<0.0001) by 13 mm (median) after the program, (Dunn’s test; P<0.001) and by 5 mm after one year (P<0.05). Only one of twelve DRI items (activity), “participating in exercise/sports” improved significantly after rehabilitation (Wilcoxon’s test; P=0.0009), and remained improved one year later (P=0.0144). Life satisfaction in the physical and psychological domains increased after the program. A clinically meaningful reduction in pain intensity (≥10 mm) was reported by 43% of patients at the one-year follow-up. This group had significant increases in life satisfaction. Only patients with positive beliefs about recovery before rehabilitation showed a decrease in pain intensity at the one-year follow-up (P<0.028).
Conclusion. The program influenced the pain, life satisfaction and, to a small extent, activity. A clinically relevant pain reduction and an increase in life satisfaction were related. Patients’ pretreatment beliefs about recovery influenced the long-term decrease of pain intensity, indicating that more attention should be focused on patients’ pretreatment beliefs.