Do male and female patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain differ in their pre-treatment expectations of rehabilitation outcome?
Anne M. Boonstra, Michiel F. Reneman, Roy. E Stewart, Henrica R. Schiphorst Preuper
Purpose: To analyse differences between males and females in expectations about rehabilitation outcome.
Methods: Design: cross-sectional study. Setting: a general rehabilitation centre. Patients: n = 616, mean age 44 years, with chronic musculoskeletal pain, referred for multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation. All eligible patients in the period January 2005 to September 2009 were sent a questionnaire prior to or during the first two weeks of the treatment; the response was 630 out of 1105 (57%), of whom 14 patients did not give permission to use their data for research purposes. Main outcome measure: odds ratios.
Results: Odds ratios for 21 items from a list of 25 expectations were not significant, odds ratios for 3 expectations were lower than 2 and odds ratio for 1 expectation was 4.0. Male patients were more likely than female patients to expect that the treatment would enable them to cope better with being a spouse and that the cause of their pain would be found.
Female patients were more likely than male patients to expect
that the treatment would enable them to better accept the fact that they could no longer do what they were able to do in the past, and that they would have fewer problems with household activities.
Conclusion: There were no gender differences in pre-treatment expectations for 21 of 25 possible expectations, small differences for 3 expectations and a strong, clinically important difference for 1 expectation: female patients were more likely than male patients to expect that they would have fewer problems with household activities.
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