Content » Vol 44, Issue 9

Original report

One-year follow-up of two different rehabilitation strategies for patients with chronic pain

Daniel Merrick, Gunnevi Sundelin, Britt-Marie Stålnacke
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1022


Objective: To determine outcomes for 2 rehabilitation strategies for patients with chronic pain: a 2-day interdisciplinary team assessment followed by either: (i) a 4-week outpatient multimodal rehabilitation programme, or (ii) a subsequent rehabilitation plan.
Methods: After a 2-day interdisciplinary team assessment at our pain rehabilitation clinic 296 consecutive patients were selected to either multimodal rehabilitation (n = 76) or rehabilitation plan (n = 220). They completed questionnaires regarding pain intensity (Visual Analogue Scale), disability (Disability Rating Index), life satisfaction (LiSat-11), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) at assessment and again at 1-year follow-up.
Results: Both groups showed significant improvements at 1-year follow-up regarding pain intensity. In addition, the multimodal rehabilitation group improved in the disability items (“light work” and “heavy work”), depression and life satisfaction (“leisure”, “somatic health”, and “psychological health”). In the rehabilitation plan group “somatic health” improved, although not statistically significant.
Conclusion: This study indicates that multimodal rehabilitation may have long-term positive effects on pain, disability, depression and domains of life satisfaction. However, a minor intervention, rehabilitation plan with follow-up in primary care, can improve pain and “somatic health”. Based on the biopsychosocial approach, an interdisciplinary assessment of patients with chronic pain seems to be of value for selecting patients to different rehabilitation interventions.

Lay Abstract


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