Purpose: The main aim of this study was to compare the effects of Body Awareness Therapy (BAT), the Feldenkrais (FK) method and conventional physiotherapy on changes of health-related quality of life (HRQL), self-efficacy and sense of coherence (SOC) in patients with non-specific musculoskeletal disorders. A second aim was to explore the relationships between SOC, HRQL and self-efficacy and to examine whether SOC could be a predictor of the treatment outcome.
Method: A total of 78 patients, 64 women and 14 men, were recruited consecutively to the three treatment groups. The instrument used were the Swedish version of SF-36, the 20 items Arthritis Self-efficacy Scale and the 29-item questionnaire by Antonovsky.
Results: The results showed that there were significant improvements on all subscales of SF-36 except for one. By using effect-size values it was found that the BAT and FK groups reached larger effect-size than did the conventional therapy group. These two groups also improved in self-efficacy of pain and stayed stable while the third group deteriorated at the one-year follow-up. There were significant correlations between the mental dimensions of SF-36 and SOC indicating that the instruments may measure aspects of the same global construct.
Conclusions: Although few significant differences between the three treatment groups the BAT and FK seemed to improve health-related quality of life and self-efficacy of pain to a somewhat higher degree than the conventional physiotherapy. SOC seemed to be a stable trait measure over time.