Long-Term Superiority Seen in Group Intervention for Neck Pain

Pain and stress self-management group intervention beats individually-administered physical therapy

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with persistent tension-type neck pain, a multi-component pain and stress self-management group intervention (PASS) is superior to individually-administered physical therapy (IAPT) at two years, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

Catharina Gustavsson, Ph.D., from the Center for Clinical Research Dalarna in Falun, Sweden, and colleagues compared the long-term effects of a multi-component PASS intervention versus IAPT in 156 patients with persistent tension-type neck pain, randomly assigned to PASS (77 individuals) or IAPT (79 individuals). Participants completed self-assessment questionnaires, including the Self-Efficacy Scale, the Neck Disability Index, the Coping Strategies Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and questions regarding neck pain and analgesic use, at baseline, at 10 and 20 weeks, and at one and two years after the intervention. Linear mixed models for repeated measures were uses for analyses.

The investigators found that at baseline, and for follow-ups at 10 weeks, 20 weeks, one year, and two years, time-by-group interaction effects significantly favored the PASS group for the ability to control pain, self-efficacy for performing activities in spite of pain, and catastrophic thinking, but not for disability related to neck pain.

"The initial treatment effects of a self-management group intervention were largely maintained over a two-year follow-up period and with a tendency to have superior long-term effects as compared to individually-administered physical therapy," the authors write.

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