Interdisciplinary rehabilitation in Fibromyalgia and chronic back pain: A prospective outcome study

Journal: The Journal of Pain. 2006 Nov;7(11):807-15. [In process] Authors and affiliation: Angst F, Brioschi R, Main CJ, Lehmann S, Aeschlimann A. Rehaclinic Zurzach, Zurzach, Switzerland. PMID: 17074622

This study aimed to examine short-term and mid-term course of health, biopsychosocial functional ability, and coping performance of patients with fibromyalgia (FM) or chronic back pain (BP) after participation in a standardized 4-week inpatient, interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program.

In a prospective cohort study, assessments were made by using a set of standardized, well-tested self-rating instruments and other parameters before and after the intervention up to the 6-month follow-up with standardized effect sizes (ES) and comparison to population norms. The effects of improvements in health and coping domains on pain reduction were examined by linear regression modeling.

The health of the 65 FM and the 60 BP patients at baseline was far worse than expected from the norms. Improvements included ES up to 1.09 for pain, physical role performance, and mental/affective health dimensions and 0.50 in coping at discharge from the clinic. At the 6-month follow-up, all effects were consistently lower but still up to ES = 0.75. Improvements of FM and BP were equal at discharge but slightly better for the FM's mood scales at the 6-month follow-up. Physical and social function, mood, and coping were significantly associated with pain reduction.

Perspective: Inpatient, structured interdisciplinary rehabilitation covering elements of cognitive and operant behavioral therapy, graded activity exercise, and adapted drug therapy revealed moderate to large short-term and mid-term improvements in physical and mental health and in the major coping dimensions as captured by comprehensive and specific assessment.

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