Journal: Tidsskrift for den Norske Laegeforening. 2007. Mar 1;127(5):604-8. [Article in Norwegian]
Authors and affiliation: Wigers SH, Finset A. Opptreningssenteret Jeloy Kurbad Bratengaten 94 1515 Moss. [E-Mail: email@example.com ]firstname.lastname@example.org
Background. Chronic musculoskeletal pain of diffuse origin affects many, and at a significant cost. Evidence-based guidelines for therapeutic interventions are presented and exemplified.
Material and methods. 200 patients with chronic myofascial pain and/or Fibromyalgia who participated in a 4-week multidimensional rehabilitation program were included in the study. [Note: Myofascial pain has been characterized as pain of the muscle/connective tissue, often with hypersensitive muscle ‘trigger’ points that may refer pain and other symptoms to another part of the body.]
The program included education and pain management in a cognitive setting, various forms of aerobic exercises, myofascial pain treatment, relaxation and medication as needed.
The patients filled in questionnaires on arrival, at follow-up after six and 12-months and at discharge. They completed visual analogue scales (pain, fatigue, sleep problems, depression), the Nottingham Health Profile, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, global subjective improvement, and during the follow-up period also the physical activity level, changes in quality of life and occupational workload.
Work capacity, a tender point count and whether patients met the diagnostic criteria for Fibromyalgia were assessed at baseline and at discharge.
Significant improvements were seen in all variables throughout the follow-up period.
Thirty percent of the Fibromyalgia patients no longer met the diagnostic criteria at discharge.
There was a significant increase in quality of life over time.
After one year, more patients had returned to work and fewer were off sick, but there was also an increased number on disability pensions.
The majority did exercise training on a regular basis.
Interpretation: Our findings confirm the existing evidence-based guidelines by showing that multidimensional rehabilitation is an effective intervention for patients with widespread chronic pain. It is a challenge for health politicians to change today's common practice towards that described in evidence-based guidelines.