New Self-Management Programme Offers Significant Benefits for Arthritis Patients with Chronic Pain
Results from the UK ‘Challenging Pain’ programme
PARIS, France, Thursday 12 June 2008: A new two
week programme significantly reduces healthcare visits, pain scores
and health distress in arthritis patients with chronic pain.
Results were comparable to existing six week self-management
programmes and the benefits of the programme were sustained for six
months with improvements continuing up to a year later, according
Devised by the UK charity Arthritis Care and pain specialists at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK, the ‘Challenging Pain’ programme enrolled 186 patients into 18 workshop groups. The patients comprised a combination of family doctor and self referrals. Each workshop consisted of two half-day sessions on consecutive weeks, with tutorship on a range of pain management techniques, including relaxation, stress management and exercise, as well as strategies for managing fatigue.
The programme effectiveness was assessed by
questionnaires and focus group discussions with the course
participants at 6 and 12 month follow-up. Quantitative results
using Wilcoxon signed rank test (a tool used to compare differences
between measurements) indicated statistically significant
reductions across pain scores (reduced by 7% at 6 months and by 14%
at 12 months). GP visits (reduced by 17% at 6 months and by 23% at
12 months) and health distress (reduced by 15% at 6 months and by
31% at 12 months) and self-efficacy was improved (increased by 17%
at 6 months and by 27% at 12 months). Qualitative reporting
supported these results and showed that patients felt the programme
to be beneficial. All results were sustained at 6 months follow up
and continued to improve at 12 months.
Janet Cowlard, who led the study in conjunction with physicians at Derriford Hospital, said: "We devised this programme to try to ease the burden of chronic pain in patients with arthritis and other long-term pain conditions, whilst offering a faster and more cost effective management approach. Our new programme, which was offered free of charge to patients, equipped them with the practical skills and techniques to help combat their pain, whilst also giving them an empowering sense of control and confidence in their own disease management. Achieving sustained results 6 and 12 months after a short course offers great promise for both arthritis patients and healthcare providers alike. Arthritis Care has now begun a UK-wide rollout of the programme, and a similar roll-out is beginning in Australia. We are delighted to share our results at the international forum of EULAR, as centres across other countries might be similarly inspired by our results"
Most forms of arthritis are associated with pain that can be divided into two general categories: acute and chronic. Acute pain is temporary and commonly wanes as healing occurs, for example in the case of burns, cuts, and fractures. Chronic pain, however, such as that seen in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, ranges from mild to severe and may last weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime.
For further information on this study, or to request an interview with the study lead, please do not hesitate to contact the EULAR congress press office on:
Rory Berrie: Onsite tel: +44 (0) 7789 270 392
Camilla Dormer: Onsite tel: +44 (0) 7876 190 439
Abstract number: OP0117PAR
About EULARThe European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) is the organisation which represents the patient, health professional and scientific societies of rheumatology of all the European nations. The aims of EULAR are to reduce the burden of rheumatic diseases on the individual and society and to improve the treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal diseases. To this end, EULAR fosters excellence in education and research in the field of rheumatology. It promotes the translation of research advances into daily care and fights for the recognition of the needs of people with musculoskeletal diseases by the governing bodies in Europe. Diseases of bones and joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis cause disability in 4 - 5 % of the adult population and are predicted to rise as people live longer. As new treatments emerge and cellular mechanisms are discovered, EULAR 2008 brings together more than 12,000 experts - scientists, clinicians, healthcare workers, pharmaceutical companies and patients - to share their knowledge in a global endeavour to challenge the pain and disability caused by musculo-skeletal disorders. To find out more information about the activities of EULAR, visit: www.eular.org
Posted: June 2008