Long-term follow-up of outpatient interdisciplinary pain management with a no-treatment comparison group

Ruth Torkelson Lynch, James Agre, Jane Megan Powers, Jack Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The long-term psychosocial and physical functioning impact of an outpatient interdisciplinary pain management program was evaluated by comparison of pain management completors and a no-treatment group. Although pain intensity did not change and there were no significant differences between groups in several aspects of daily activity, the group that completed the program reported a greater sense of control over pain, had a more hopeful outlook on the future, perceived pain as interfering less with their life, and used strategies that are considered adaptive for long-term management of pain. The results suggest that patients with chronic, complex pain problems can improve perceptions regarding pain control and reduce the interference of pain in their lives. Outlook regarding the future was identified as a critical assessment and treatment variable. Individuals who were more optimistic about the future perceived a greater control over pain and endorsed coping stategies that involve diverting attention, ignoring pain sensations, and making coping self-statements. Although pain intensity rating did not differ, individuals who had a more pessimistic outlook on life considered pain to interfere with their work activity, mood, relations with other people, and overall enjoyment of life to a greater extent than individuals who were more optimistic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1996


  • Chronic Pain
  • Outcomes
  • Pain Management
  • Program Evaluation


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