Study design. An explorative, longitudinal, prospective study, with measurement at baseline, 20 weeks and 2 years.
Objective. To explore plausible predictors associated with short-term (20 weeks) and long-term (2 years) treatment success in terms of pain-related disability for patients with persistent tension-type neck pain following a multi-component pain and stress self-management group intervention (PASS).
Summary of Background Data. In previously reported short-term and long-term follow-up, PASS had better effect on pain control, pain-related self-efficacy, disability and catastrophizing than a control treatment; individually administered physical therapy (IAPT). Identification of patients who are likely to benefit from particular interventions is required.
Methods. Data collected from 77 participants assigned to PASS in a randomized controlled trial were explored in order to identify plausible predictors of favorable outcome regarding pain-related disability as measured by the Neck Disability Index (NDI), by use of Pearson correlation analysis, factor analysis (FA) and partial least squares (PLS) and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analyses. Data from self-assessment questionnaires completed by the participants before intervention, post-treatment (20 weeks) and at 2 years after the intervention, were used. The questionnaire comprised: the Self-Efficacy Scale (SES), the NDI, the Coping Strategies Questionnaire(CSQ), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and questions regarding neck pain and analgesics.
Results. Multivariate PLS regression analysis showed that baseline scores in NDI, SES and pain intensity explained only 31% of the variance in disability (NDI) immediately post-treatment (20-week follow-up). PLS regression analysis showed that post-treatment scores in NDI, SES and pain intensity explained 68% of the variance in disability (NDI) at 2 years. Univariate OLS linear regression analyses indicated that each variable contributed significantly to the latter PLS regression model (NDI p<0.001, SES p<0.001, pain intensity p<0.001).
Conclusions. Treatment gains, as measured by immediate post-treatment scores at 20-week follow-up, in disability, self-efficacy and pain intensity were associated with long-term outcome in pain-related disability two years post-treatment, in patients with persistent neck pain participating in a self-management group intervention in PHC. Pre-treatment characteristics explained only a small proportion of variance in disability post-treatment. Thus, the intervention appears to be feasible for the majority of persons seeking PHC due to persistent tension-type neck pain.
coping, neck pain, predictors, randomized controlled trial, self-assessment questionnaire, self-management