The body has a history: an educational intervention programme for people with generalised chronic musculoskeletal pain

Patient Educ Couns. 2000 Sep;41(2):181-95. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(99)00077-4.


A phenomenological stand, where the situation is understood explicitly from the subjective experience of the person as opposed to the Cartesian dualistic paradigm regarding the body as a material object, was the fundament for an educational programme for people with generalised chronic musculoskeletal pain. In a randomised controlled study these came out significantly better than the control group with respect to pain and pain coping, taking care of themselves, life satisfaction and health care consumption. Through participation in the group, persons with chronic pain were invited to identify their body from the first person perspective, and possibly become aware of the experienced-based knowledge embedded in their bodies. Possibilities were created for construction of new meanings of embodied life experiences. A philosophy of teaching, where participation and activity are central elements, is presented and elaborated. The theoretical rationale and different educational methods used in the 12 sessions are described. Possible differences between this programme and cognitive therapies are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / psychology*
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Self Concept*