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A behavioral medicine intervention for older women living alone with chronic pain – a feasibility study

Authors Cederbom S, Rydwik E, Söderlund A, Denison E, Frändin K, von Heideken Wågert P

Received 29 April 2014

Accepted for publication 7 June 2014

Published 18 August 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 1383—1397


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Sara Cederbom,1,2 Elisabeth Rydwik,2,3 Anne Söderlund,2 Eva Denison,2 Kerstin Frändin,1 Petra von Heideken Wågert2

1Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Physiotherapy, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, 2School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Vasteras, 3Research and Development Unit, Jakobsbergs Hospital, Stockholm County Council, Järfälla, Sweden

Background: To be an older woman, live alone, have chronic pain, and be dependent on support are all factors that may have an impact on daily life. One way to promote ability in everyday activities in people with pain-related conditions is to use individualized, integrated behavioral medicine in physical therapy interventions. How this kind of intervention works for older women living alone at home, with chronic pain, and dependent on formal care to manage their everyday lives has not been studied. The aim was to explore the feasibility of a study and to evaluate an individually tailored integrated behavioral medicine in physical therapy intervention for the target group of women.
Materials and methods: The study was a 12-week randomized trial with two-group design. Primary effect outcomes were pain-related disability and morale. Secondary effect outcomes focused on pain-related beliefs, self-efficacy for exercise, concerns of falling, physical activity, and physical performance.
Results: In total, 23 women agreed to participate in the study and 16 women completed the intervention. The results showed that the behavioral medicine in physical therapy intervention was feasible. No effects were seen on the primary effect outcomes. The experimental intervention seemed to improve the level of physical activity and self-efficacy for exercise. Some of the participants in both groups perceived that they could manage their everyday life in a better way after participation in the study.
Conclusion: Results from this study are encouraging, but the study procedure and interventions have to be refined and tested in a larger feasibility study to be able to evaluate the effects of these kinds of interventions on pain-related disability, pain-related beliefs, self-efficacy in everyday activities, and morale in the target group. Further research is also needed to refine and evaluate effects from individualized reminder routines, support to collect self-report data, safety procedures for balance training, and training of personnel to enhance self-efficacy.

Keywords: biopsychosocial model, community-dwelling, elderly, female, exercise intervention, physical therapy

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