Long-lasting improvements in health-related quality of life among women with chronic pain, following multidisciplinary rehabilitation

Disabil Rehabil. 2018 Jul;40(15):1764-1772. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1312565. Epub 2017 Apr 14.


Purpose: To determine whether observed health-related quality-of-life improvements after four-week traditional multidisciplinary pain management program and additional neuroscience education and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for chronic pain are sustained at six-month follow-up.

Method: This observational longitudinal follow-up study, with complete follow-up of 75 women, 61.5% of initial traditional approach group (treated 2001-2005) and 56 (62.2%) receiving the new approach (treated 2006-2009). Pain intensity and quality of life were measured at baseline and six months after interventions. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and paired samples t-tests were used for statistical analysis.

Results: Both groups showed sustained improvements in pain intensity (traditional approach = -10.6 [p < 0.001]; new approach = -14.5 [p < 0.001]) and quality of life (traditional approach = 6.4 [p < 0.001]; new approach = 6.9 [p < 0.001]). Sleep was not sustained among traditional approach group (change = 2.4 [p = 0.066]), whereas all other domains among both groups were sustained. Significant decline was observed from discharge to six month among both groups with the exception of the sleep domain among the traditional approach group, pain intensity among the new approach and financial status among both groups. No baseline differences were revealed between responders and nonresponders.

Conclusions: Multidisciplinary interventions for women with chronic pain conditions improved quality of life and pain intensity with lasting improvements observed half a year after treatment completion. Implications for rehabilitation Intensive multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation is essential for chronic pain conditions. This follow-up study shows sustained improvement in health-related quality of life and pain intensity six months after such rehabilitation was completed. Emphasizing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and neuroscience patient education may contribute to less decline in pain intensity from discharge to six-month follow-up compared with a more traditional approach.

Keywords: Quality of life; chronic pain; follow-up; mindfulness; multidisciplinary rehabilitation; neuroscience patient education.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Quality of Life*
  • Young Adult