Journal of rehabilitation medicine 49(4) 354-361 doi 0.2340/16501977-2212
Multimodal rehabilitation programmes (MMRP) for chronic pain could be improved by determining which patients do not benefit fully. General distress and pain-related fear may explain variations in the treatment effects of MMRP.
Cohort study with a cross-sectional, prospective part.
Chronic musculoskeletal pain patients referred to 2 hospital-based pain rehabilitation clinics.
The cross-sectional part of this study cluster analyses patients (n = 1,218) with regard to distress and pain-related fear at first consultation in clinical pain rehabilitation and describes differences in external variables between clusters. The prospective part follows the subsample of patients (n = 260) participating in MMRP and describes outcome post-treatment.
Four distinct subgroups were found: (i) those with low levels of distress and pain-related fear; (ii) those with high levels of pain-related fear; (iii) those with high levels of distress; and (iv) those with high levels of distress and pain-related fear. These subgroups showed differences in demogra-phics, pain characteristics, quality of life, and acceptance, as well as the degree of MMRP participation and MMRP outcome.
Among patients with chronic pain referred to MMRP there are subgroups with different profiles of distress and pain-related fear, which are relevant to understanding the adaptation to pain and MMRP outcome. This knowledge may help us to select patients and tailor treatment for better results.