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Effects of tailored versus non-tailored treatment on pain and pressure pain threshold in women with nonspecific neck pain: a randomized controlled trial
University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. Dept. of Community Med. and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå Univ., Umeå, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7543-4397
University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences.
Dept. of Community Med. and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå Univ., Umeå, Sweden.
Dept. of Community Med. and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå Univ., Umeå, Sweden.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aim of the investigation: The evidence for physiotherapy treatments of nonspecific neck pain is modest despite a large increase of intervention studies the last decade. One reason could be different underlying causes for pain in individuals with nonspecific neck pain, and that identification of sub-groups or individual needs is seldom accounted for in studies. In the absence of causal treatment options, a tailored treatment approach based on an explicit clinical decision model guided by assessment of function, clinical signs and symptoms, should be considered. Our aim was to evaluate tailored treatment based on such a decision model, targeting women with nonspecific neck pain. Our main hypothesis was that the tailored treatment (T) would have better short, intermediate and long-term effects on pain intensity and pressure pain threshold for the trapezius muscles than either non-tailored treatment (NT) (same treatment components but applied quasi-randomly) or treatment-as-usual (TAU) (no treatment from the study, no restrictions). We further hypothesized that T or NT has better effect than TAU. For details, cf. Current Controlled Trials registration ISRCTN49348025 and published study protocol.

Methods: 120 working women with minimum six weeks duration of neck pain were randomized to the T, NT or TAU groups. All participants had more than “no disability” but less than “complete disability” according to the Neck Disability Index, and reported impaired capacity on the quality or quantity to work the preceding month. Main exclusion criteria were trauma-related neck pain, specific diagnoses and generalized pain or concomitant low back pain. The decision model for tailored treatment was based on tests and symptoms with defined cut-off levels comprising the following main categories: reduced cervical mobility, impaired neck-shoulder strength and motor control, trapezius myalgia, cervicogenic headache and impaired eye-head-neck control (cf. published study protocol). Assessment was performed one week before and after the 11-weeks intervention, with follow-ups 6-months (intermediate-term) and 12-months (long-term) after the intervention. Outcome variables were pain intensity (Numeric Rating Scale, NRS, 0 – 10) and pressure pain threshold (PPT) of the upper trapezius muscles (kPa). PPT was not measured at long-term follow-up.  Preliminary statistical analyses for the predefined hypotheses were performed with analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with baseline outcome values as covariates. This was supplemented with pairwise Bonferroni-compensated comparisons in case of significance of factor group.

Results: 86% of the participants completed the intervention, and the attrition was similar across groups. Preliminary results for the short term evaluation showed a reduction in NRS from an average of 4.4 and 4.5 to 2.5 in the T and NT groups, respectively, which was significantly greater compared to the TAU group (p=0.024 and p=0.014 for T and NT). For the PPT, there was no difference between T and NT groups at the short term evaluation, but close to a significantly increased threshold for the T compared to the TAU group (p=0,058). No differences were found between treatment groups on the intermediate and long-term evaluations for neither of the two outcome variables.

Conclusions: The results indicate that tailored treatment for women with nonspecific neck pain may not be more effective, with respect to pain reduction, compared to non-tailored treatment. The hypothesis of superiority of tailored or non-tailored treatment over treatment-as-usual was partly supported for the short-term evaluation. However, the short-term results should be interpreted with caution since the impact of higher attention given to the participants in T and NT groups is not known. Reference:1. Björklund M, Djupsjöbacka M, Svedmark Å, Häger C. (2012) Effects of tailored neck-shoulder pain treatment based on a decision model guided by clinical assessments and standardized functional tests. A study protocol of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. May 20;13(1):75

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. PF 418- p.
National Category
Physiotherapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-18685OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-18685DiVA: diva2:776900
Conference
The 15th World Congress on Pain, Oct 6-11, 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved

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Björklund, MartinDjupsjöbacka, MatsSvedmark, Åsa
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