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International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 1–11

First Online: 29 April 2015DOI: 10.1007-s12529-015-9486-y

Cite this article as: Brendbekken, R., Harris, A., Ursin, H. et al. Int.J. Behav. Med. 2016 23: 1. doi:10.1007-s12529-015-9486-y


BackgroundMusculoskeletal pain is associated with comorbidity, extensive use of health services, long-term disability and reduced quality of life. The scientific literature on effects of treatment for musculoskeletal pain is inconclusive.

PurposeThe purpose of this study is to compare a multidisciplinary intervention MI, including use of the novel Interdisciplinary Structured Interview with a Visual Educational Tool ISIVET, with a brief intervention BI, on effects on mental and physical symptoms, functioning ability, use of health services and coping in patients sick-listed due to musculoskeletal pain.

MethodTwo hundred eighty-four adults aged 18–60, referred to a specialist clinic in physical rehabilitation, were randomized to MI or BI. Patients received a medical examination at baseline and completed a comprehensive questionnaire at baseline, 3 months and 12 months.

ResultsBoth groups reported improvements in mental and physical symptoms, including pain, and improved functioning ability at 3 and 12 months, but the MI group improved faster than the BI group except from reports of pain, which had a similar course. Significant interactions between group and time were found on mental symptoms anxiety p < 0.05, depression p < 0.01, somatization p < 0.01 and functioning ability p < 0.01 due to stronger effects in the MI group at 3 months. At 3 and 12 months, the MI group reported significantly less use of health services general practitioner p < 0.05. At 12 months, the MI group reported better self-evaluated capability of coping with complaints p < 0.001 and they took better care of their own health p < 0.001, compared to the BI group.

ConclusionThe results indicate that the MI may represent an important supplement in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain.

KeywordsRandomized clinical trial Chronic musculoskeletal pain Multidisciplinary treatment Patient education tool Trial, with registration number NCT01346423

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Autor: Randi Brendbekken - Anette Harris - Holger Ursin - Hege R. Eriksen - Tone Tangen


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