Physiotherapists' treatment approach towards neck pain and the influence of a behavioural graded activity training: An exploratory study

Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Manual therapy (Impact Factor: 1.71). 04/2008; 14(2):131-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.math.2007.12.005
Source: PubMed


Physiotherapists' treatment approach might influence their behaviour during practice and, consequently, patients' treatment outcome; however, an explicit description of the treatment approach is often missing in trials. The purpose of this prospective exploratory study was to evaluate whether the treatment approach differs between therapists who favour a behavioural graded activity (BGA) program, conservative exercise (CE) or manual therapy, and whether BGA training has influence on the treatment approach. Forty-two therapists participated. BGA therapists received a 2-day training. Treatment approach was measured at baseline and at 3-month follow-up, using the Pain Attitude and Beliefs Scale for Physiotherapists (PABS-PTs). By this method data on the adoption of biomedical or biopsychosocial approaches were generated. Differences were examined with analysis of variance (ANOVA) and independent Student's t-test. Influence of the BGA training was examined with linear regression. At baseline, there were no significant differences between BGA, CE or manual therapists use of biomedical or biopsychosocial approaches, but there was a trend for BGA therapists to score higher on the biopsychosocial approach. At follow-up, their biopsychosocial score remained higher and their biomedical score was lower compared to CE therapists. Corrected regression analysis showed a 4.4 points (95%CI -7.9; -0.8) higher decrease for therapists who followed the BGA training compared to therapists who did not. Our results indicate no significant differences in treatment approach at baseline, and that BGA training might influence therapists' treatment approach since the scores on the biomedical approach decreased.

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    • "Alternatively, one can use the Health Care Providers' Pain and Impairment Relationship Scale (HC-PAIRS) for a valid assessment of attitudes and beliefs of therapists about functional expectation for chronic low back pain patients (Rainville et al., 1995). The PABS-PT was able to show that physiotherapists in response to a 2-day training program obtained a more biopsychosocial orientation, and a decreased biomedical orientation toward the treatment of neck pain (Vonk et al., 2009). Still, self-report can be questioned for the measurement of attitudes and beliefs: therapists who report complying with certain therapeutic guidelines, do not per se adhere to these during daily practice. "
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    ABSTRACT: It is well established that the biomedical model falls short in explaining chronic musculoskeletal pain. Although many musculoskeletal therapists have moved on in their thinking and apply a broad biopsychosocial view with regard to chronic pain disorders, the majority of clinicians have received a biomedical-focused training/education. Such a biomedical training is likely to influence the therapists' attitudes and core beliefs toward chronic musculoskeletal pain. Therapists should be aware of the impact of their own attitudes and beliefs on the patient's attitudes and beliefs. As patient's attitudes and beliefs influence treatment adherence, musculoskeletal therapists should be aware that focusing on the biomedical model for chronic musculoskeletal pain is likely to result in poor compliance with evidence based treatment guidelines, less treatment adherence and a poorer treatment outcome. Here, we provide clinicians with a 5-step approach toward effective and evidence-based care for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. The starting point entails self-reflection: musculoskeletal therapists can easily self-assess their attitudes and beliefs regarding chronic musculoskeletal pain. Once the therapist holds evidence-based attitudes and beliefs regarding chronic musculoskeletal pain, assessing patients' attitudes and beliefs will be the natural next step. Such information can be integrated in the clinical reasoning process, which in turn results in individually-tailored treatment programs that specifically address the patients' attitudes and beliefs in order to improve treatment adherence and outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Manual therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic neck pain is a common complaint in the Netherlands with a point prevalence of 14.3%. Patients with chronic neck pain are often referred to physiotherapy and, nowadays, are mostly treated with exercise therapy. It is, however, unclear which type of exercise therapy is to be preferred. Therefore, this study evaluates the effectiveness of behaviour graded activity (BGA) compared with conventional exercise (CE) for patients with chronic neck pain. Eligible patients with non-specific chronic neck were randomly allocated to either BGA or CE. Primary treatment outcome is the patient's global perceived effect concerning recovery from complaint and daily functioning. Outcome assessment was performed at baseline, and at 4, 9, 26, and 52 weeks after randomization. Effectiveness was examined with general estimating equations analyses. Baseline demographics and patient characteristics were well balanced between the two groups. Mean age was 45.7 (SD 12.4) years and the median duration of complaints was 60 months. The mean number of treatments was 6.6 (SD 3.0) in BGA and 11.2 (SD 4.1) in CE. No significant differences between treatments were found in their effectiveness of managing patients with chronic neck pain. In both BGA and CE some patients reported recovery from complaints and daily function but the proportion of recovered patients did not exceed 50% during the 12-month follow-up period. Both groups showed clinically relevant improvements in physical secondary outcomes. International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number: ISRCTN88733332.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2008 · European journal of pain (London, England)
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