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Open Access Research article

Predictors of outcome of multidisciplinary treatment in chronic widespread pain: an observational study

Aleid de Rooij1*, Marike van der Leeden12, Leo D Roorda1, Martijn PM Steultjens3 and Joost Dekker124

Author Affiliations

1 Amsterdam Rehabilitation Research Center | Reade, Jan van Breemenstraat 2, 1056AB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 School of Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow,Scotland, UK

4 Department of Psychiatry and EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:133  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-133

Published: 11 April 2013

Abstract

Background

The effectiveness of multidisciplinary treatment in chronic widespread pain (CWP) is limited. The considerable heterogeneity among patients is a likely explanation. Knowledge on predictors of the outcome of multidisciplinary treatment can help to optimize treatment effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of multidisciplinary treatment outcome in patients with CWP.

Methods

Data were used from baseline and 6 months follow-up measurements of a prospective cohort study of 120 CWP. Regression models were used to assess whether baseline variables predicted treatment outcome. Outcome domains included: pain, pain interference, depression, and global perceived effect (GPE). Potential predictors included: psychological distress, illness and self-efficacy beliefs, fear-avoidance beliefs and behaviour, symptoms, disability, and socio-demographic factors.

Results

Greater improvement in pain was predicted by more pain at baseline and male gender. Greater improvement in interference of pain in daily life was predicted by more interference of pain in daily life at baseline, lower levels of anxiety, a stronger belief in personal control, less belief in consequences, male gender, and a higher level of education. Greater improvement in depression was predicted by higher baseline values of depression, stronger beliefs in personal control, and a higher level of education. Better outcome on GPE was predicted by less pain, less fatigue, and a higher level of education.

Conclusion

Less anxiety, stronger beliefs in personal control, less belief in consequences, less pain, less fatigue, higher level of education, and male gender are predictors of better outcome of multidisciplinary treatment in CWP. Tailoring treatment to these specific patient characteristics or selecting eligible patients for multidisciplinary treatment may further improve treatment outcome.

Keywords:
Chronic widespread pain; Fibromyalgia; Predictors; Multidisciplinary treatment; Outcome