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Integrative medicine inpatient treatment has been shown to improve physical and mental health in patients with internal medicine conditions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a 2-week integrative medicine inpatient treatment in patients with chronic pain syndromes and the association of treatment success with patient-related process variables.
Inpatients with chronic pain syndromes participating in a 2-week integrative medicine inpatient program were included. Patients' pain intensity, pain disability, pain perception, quality of life, depression, and perceived stress were measured on admission, discharge, and 6 months after discharge. Likewise process variables including ability and will to change, emotional/rational disease acceptance, mindfulness, life and health satisfaction, and easiness of life were assessed.
A total of 310 inpatients (91% female, mean age 50.7?±?12.4 year, 26.5% low back pain, and 22.9% fibromyalgia) were included. Using mixed linear models, significant improvements in pain intensity, pain disability, pain perception, quality of life, depression, and perceived stress were found (all P?<!–?0.05). Ability to change and implementation, disease acceptance, mindfulness, life and health satisfaction, and light heartedness/easiness likewise improved (all P?<?0.05). Improved outcomes were associated with increases in process variables, mainly ability to change and implementation, disease acceptance, life and health satisfaction, and light heartedness/easiness (R = 0.03-0.40).
Results of this study suggest that a 2-week integrative medicine inpatient treatment can benefit patients with chronic pain conditions. Functional improvements are associated with improved ability to change and implementation, disease acceptance, and satisfaction.
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Reference: Saha FJ, Brüning A, Barcelona C, Büssing A, Langhorst J, Dobos G, Lauche R, Cramer H. Integrative medicine for chronic pain: A cohort study using a process-outcome design in the context of a department for internal and integrative medicine. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Jul;95(27):e4152. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000004152.