Content » Vol 48, Issue 7

Short communication

Impact of weight status on physical and psychological outcomes of a comprehensive pain rehabilitation programme

Afton M. Koball, Julia Craner, Jeannie Sperry
Behavioral Health, Gundersen Health System, 54601 La Crosse, USA. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2111


Objective: To examine the impact of weight status on physical and psychological outcomes of patients enrolled in a comprehensive pain rehabilitation programme.
Methods: Participants (n = 314; mean body mass index 30. 34) were administered measures of pain perception, depression, and physical functioning. Analyses included (Group: healthy weight, overweight, obese) × 2 (Time: admission, discharge) mixed-model analysis of variance (ANOVA) models for variables of interest.
Results: All 3 groups of participants evidenced improved pain severity [F(1,311) = 228. 94, p < 0. 001], pain interference [F(1,311) = 305. 93, p < 0. 001], pain catastrophizing [F(1,311) = 318. 78, p < 0. 001], depression [F(1,311) = 191. 21, p < 0. 001], and physical functioning [F(1,278) = 156. 12, p < 0. 001] from pre- to post-treatment. No impact of weight status on treatment outcomes emerged. Patients with obesity had lower physical therapy performance scores at both pre- and post-treatment [F(2,278) = 5. 98, p = 0. 003]; however, results suggested a similar magnitude of physical improvement across all weight ranges.
Conclusion: Regardless of weight status, patients achieved improvement in physical and psychological functioning following comprehensive pain rehabilitation. The multidisciplinary nature of this intervention probably resulted in improvements for all patients, including those of higher weight.

Lay Abstract


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