[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence that pain-related fear influences the development and maintenance of pain disability, presumably mediated through the fear-related avoidance of valued activities. Individually tailored graded exposure in vivo (GEXP) has been demonstrated to reduce pain-related fear and increase functional abilities in patients with chronic low back pain, neck pain, and complex regional pain syndrome. The current study aimed to test whether these effects generalize towards patients with work-related upper extremity pain. A sequential replicated and randomized single-case experimental phase design with multiple measurements was used. Within each participant, GEXP was compared to a no-treatment baseline period and a no-treatment 6-month follow-up period. Eight patients who reported a high level of pain-related fear were included in the study. Daily changes in pain catastrophizing, pain-related fear, and pain intensity were assessed using a diary, and subjected to randomization tests. Before the start of the baseline period, just after GEXP, and at 6-month follow-up, clinically relevant changes of pain catastrophizing, pain-related fear, perceived harmfulness of physical activity, pain disability, and participation/autonomy were verified. When GEXP was introduced, levels of pain catastrophizing and pain-related fear decreased significantly. Clinically relevant improvements were observed for pain disability, perceived participation, and autonomy. These favourable changes were maintained until 6-month follow-up. The findings of the current study underscore the external validity of a cognitive-behavioural GEXP treatment for patients with chronic pain reporting increased pain-related fear.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exercise therapies generate substantial costs in computer workers with non-specific work-related upper limb disorders (WRULD).
To study if postural exercise therapy is cost-effective compared to regular physiotherapy in screen-workers with early complaints, both from health care and societal perspective.
Prospective randomized trial including cost-effectiveness analysis; one year follow-up. Participants: Eighty-eight screen-workers with early non-specific WRULD; six drop-outs. Interventions: A ten week postural exercise program versus regular physiotherapy. Outcome measures: Effectiveness measures: Pain: visual analogous scale (VAS), self-perceived WRULD (yes/no). Functional outcome: Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand- Dutch Language Version (DASH-DLV). Quality of life outcome: EQ-5D.Economic measures: health care costs including patient and family costs and productivity costs resulting in societal costs. Cost-effectiveness measures: health care costs and societal costs related to the effectiveness measures. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline; three, six and twelve months after baseline.
At baseline both groups were comparable for baseline characteristics except scores on the Pain Catastrophizing Scale and comparable for costs. No significant differences between the groups concerning effectiveness at one year follow-up were found. Effectiveness scores slightly improved over time. After one year 55% of participants were free of complaints. After one year the postural exercise group had higher mean total health care costs, but lower productivity costs compared to the physiotherapy group. Mean societal costs after one year (therefore) were in favor of postural exercise therapy [- euro622; 95% CI -2087; +590)]. After one year, only self- perceived WRULD seemed to result in acceptable cost-effectiveness of the postural exercise strategy over physiotherapy; however the probability of acceptable cost-effectiveness did not exceed 60%.Considering societal costs related to QALYs, postural exercise therapy had a probability of over 80% to be cost-effective over a wide range of cost-effectiveness ceiling ratios; however based on a marginal QALY-difference of 0.1 over a 12 month time frame.
Although our trial failed to find significant differences in VAS, QALYs and ICERs based on VAS and QALYs at one-year follow-up, CEACs suggest that postural exercise therapy according to Mensendieck/Cesar has a higher probability of being cost-effective compared to regular physiotherapy; however further research is required.