The short-term effects of a body awareness program: better self-management of health problems for individuals with chronic a-specific psychosomatic symptoms

Patient Educ Couns. 2004 Nov;55(2):155-67. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.02.014.


A three-day residential Body Awareness Program (BAP) was developed to teach people with Chronic A-specific Psychosomatic Symptoms (CAPS) to react adequately to disturbances of the balance between a daily workload and the capacity to deal with it. The short-term effects of the program for people with CAPS are presented in this study. The design is a non-control group design with pre- and post-measures (2 months after the program). The sample for this paper was formed by 187 participants. The mean age is 42.3 (S.D. = 8.9), and 57% is female. The results showed decreased stress-related symptoms, increased quality of life, increased self-efficacy, less depressive attribution style, more expression of emotions, and a positive change of lifestyle. Most of these measured changes can be interpreted as clinically relevant outcomes with medium-to-large effect sizes. Personal pre-training goals were attained by 85% of the participants. Spouses also confirmed the found effects. Evaluation of the BAP gives enough evidence to conclude that this program leads to positive effects in CAPS. Participants react more adequately to disturbances between daily workload and the capacity to deal with this load. They are more capable of self-management in coping with stress and psychosomatic symptoms. Conclusions are drawn about the prevention by early interventions for patients with a-specific physical symptoms.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Awareness
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / etiology
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life
  • Relaxation Therapy* / education
  • Relaxation Therapy* / organization & administration
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome