Matchmaking in pain practice challenges and possibilities

Detta är en avhandling från Örebro : Örebro universitet

Sammanfattning: All people experience pain and for some people, acute pain may over time develop into long-term disabling problems. Already at an early stage, it is possible to identify people at risk for long-term problems and psychologically oriented interventions have been shown to successfully prevent future disability. However, not all people are helped by treatment and there is room for improvement. Moreover, subgroups of people suffering from pain, with different profiles of psychological factors have been identified, indicating that people with pain problems differ. The first aim of this dissertation was to improve the understanding of how people differ. The second aim was to use these individual differences and to match people to psychological treatment based on their psychological profile. The third aim was to explore what happens during treatment that might be important for treatment outcome.The findings show that people who belonged to subgroups with elevated levels of psychological factors had less favorable outcomes over time, despite treatment, than people with no elevations. Moreover, people with elevations in several psychological factors had even less favorable outcomes. Psychological treatments aimed at preventing future disability performed well, but using profiles to match people to treatment did not improve outcomes further; people who were matched to a treatment and people who were unmatched had similar outcomes. However, the profiles used for matching were unstable over time and there is need to improve the identification of psychological variables used for treatment matching. Finally, a number of psychological factors were shown to be valuable targets for treatment; if the treatments successfully produced change in people’s thoughts and emotions related to pain the treatment outcomes were better. The findings were summarized in a flow chart showing the recommended clinical approach to people seekinghealth care for acute pain problems.