Evidence supporting the efficacy of behavioral interventions based on principles of cognitive behavioral therapies has spurred interest in translating these interventions for delivery via the Internet. However, the benefits of this dissemination method cannot be realized unless the translated interventions are as effective as possible. We describe a challenge that must be overcome to ensure this occurs—Internet interventions must retain therapeutic components and processes underlying the success of face-to-face interventions on which they are based. These components and processes vary in the ease with which they can be translated to the online environment. Moreover, some are subtle and may be overlooked, despite being recognized as essential to the success of face-to-face interventions. We provide preliminary guidance for retaining critical therapeutic components and processes in the translation process, using Pain Coping Skills Training for osteoarthritis pain to illustrate methods. Directions for future research are also discussed.
psychotherapeutic processes; cognitive behavioral therapy; Internet; eHealth; intervention; treatment efficacy; musculoskeletal pain; osteoarthritis
In addition to patient self-efficacy, spouse confidence in patient efficacy may also independently predict patient health outcomes. However, the potential influence of spouse confidence has received little research attention.
The current study examined the influence of patient and spouse efficacy beliefs for arthritis management on patient health.
Patient health (i.e., arthritis severity, perceived health, depressive symptoms, lower extremity function), patient self-efficacy, and spouse confidence in patients’ efficacy were assessed in a sample of knee osteoarthritis patients (N = 152) and their spouses at three time points across an 18-month period. Data were analyzed using structural equation models.
Consistent with predictions, spouse confidence in patient efficacy for arthritis management predicted improvements in patient depressive symptoms, perceived health, and lower extremity function over 6 months and in arthritis severity over 1 year.
Our findings add to a growing literature that highlights the important role of spouse perceptions in patients’ long-term health.
Arthritis; Chronic illness; Couples; Longitudinal; Self-efficacy
Overweight and obese patients with osteoarthritis (OA) experience more OA pain and disability than patients who are not overweight. This study examined the long-term efficacy of a combined pain coping skills training (PCST) and lifestyle behavioral weight management (BWM) intervention in overweight and obese OA patients. Patients (N=232) were randomized to a 6-month program of: 1) PCST + BWM; 2) PCST-only; 3) BWM-only; or 4) standard care control. Assessments of pain, physical disability (Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales [AIMS] physical disability, stiffness, activity, and gait), psychological disability (AIMS psychological disability, pain catastrophizing, arthritis self-efficacy, weight self-efficacy), and body weight were collected at four time points (pretreatment, post-treatment, and 6 months and 12 months after the completion of treatment). Patients randomized to PCST+ BWM demonstrated significantly better treatment outcomes (average of all three post-treatment values) in terms of pain, physical disability, stiffness, activity, weight self-efficacy, and weight when compared to the other three conditions (p’s <.05). PCST+BWM also did significantly better than at least one of the other conditions (i.e., PCST-only, BWM-only, or standard care) in terms of psychological disability, pain catastrophizing, and arthritis self-efficacy. Interventions teaching overweight and obese OA patients pain coping skills and weight management simultaneously may provide the more comprehensive long-term benefits.
osteoarthritis; pain; coping; physical disability; overweight; obese
Several studies have reported reduced cerebral gray matter (GM) volume/density in chronic pain conditions, but there is limited research on plasticity of the human cortex in response to psychological interventions. We investigated GM changes after cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in patients with chronic pain. We used voxel based morphometry (VBM) to compare anatomical MRI scans of 13 patients with mixed chronic pain types before and after an 11-week CBT treatment and to 13 healthy control participants. CBT led to significant improvements in clinical measures. Patients did not differ from healthy controls in GM anywhere in the brain. After treatment, patients had increased GM in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC), posterior parietal (PPC), subgenual anterior cingulate (ACC)/orbitofrontal, and sensorimotor cortices, as well as hippocampus, and reduced GM in supplementary motor area. In most of these areas showing GM increases, GM became significantly higher than in controls. Decreased pain catastrophizing was associated with increased GM in left DLPFC and ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPFC), right PPC, somatosensory cortex, and pregenual ACC. While future studies with additional control groups will be needed to determine the specific roles of CBT on GM and brain function, we propose that increased GM in the PFC and PPC reflects greater top-down control over pain and cognitive reappraisal of pain, and that changes in somatosensory cortices reflect alterations in the perception of noxious signals.
An 11-week CBT intervention for coping with chronic pain resulted in increased gray matter volume in prefrontal and somatosensory brain regions, as well as increased dorsolateral prefrontal volume associated with reduced pain catastrophizing. These results add to mounting evidence that CBT can be a valuable treatment option for chronic pain.
dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; neuroimaging; Voxel-Based Morphometry; pain catastrophizing; CBT
The relationship between pain and overweight/obesity is bidirectional – excess weight can cause pain, yet eating food high in calories, fat and sugar has been shown to alleviate pain. It appears likely that overweight/obese individuals may turn to these types of foods when they experience pain, leading to weight gain; however, this phenomenon has not been examined to date. The authors of this study set out to elucidate the relationship between pain and food intake in obese and overweight patients with osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) patients who are overweight or obese report higher levels of pain compared with their normal-weight OA counterparts. Evidence suggests that overweight or obese OA patients also experience pain relief from eating foods high in calories, fat or sugar. Eating to alleviate pain may be problematic because it can lead to additional weight gain, which may contribute to heightened pain.
To investigate the relationship between pain and food intake using ecological momentary assessments in a sample of 71 over-weight and obese OA patients.
Participants completed two consecutive days of diary entries in which they recorded their levels of pain, mood and food intake throughout the day. Data were analyzed using generalized estimating equations that modelled pain as a predictor of calorie, fat and sugar intake. All models were adjusted for sex, body mass index, negative mood, time and treatment history.
Pain significantly predicted calorie (Z=2.57; P=0.01) and fat intake (Z=1.99; P=0.05).
Using ecological momentary assessments as a novel approach, the present study provides preliminary data supporting a relationship between pain and food intake among overweight and obese OA patients. Continued advances in our understanding of the relationship between pain and eating behaviour may help to optimize intervention strategies for these patients.
BMI; Eating; Ecological momentary assessments (EMA); Obesity; Osteoarthritis; Pain; Weight
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality and reduced quality of life. Novel interventions are needed to improve outcomes in COPD patients. The present study assessed the effects of a telephone-based coping skills intervention on psychological and somatic quality of life and on the combined medical endpoint of COPD-related hospitalizations and all-cause mortality.
We conducted a dual-site, randomized clinical trial with assessments at baseline and after 16 weeks of treatment. The study population comprised 326 outpatients with COPD aged 38 to 81 years, randomized to Coping Skills training (CST) or to COPD Education (COPD-ED). Patients completed a battery of quality of life (QoL) instruments, pulmonary function tests, and functional measures and were followed for up to 4.4 years to assess medical outcomes.
The CST group exhibited greater improvements in psychological QoL compared to controls (P = .001), including less depression (Cohen’s d=0.22 [95%CI 0.08, 0.36]) and anxiety (d=0.17 [95%CI 0.02, 0.33]), and better overall mental health (d=0.17 [95%CI 0.03, 0.32]), emotional role functioning (d= 0.29 [95%CI 0.10, 0.48]), vitality (d= 0.27 [95%CI 0.11, 0.42]), and social functioning (d= 0.21 [95%CI 0.03, 0.38]). A significant baseline psychological QoL by Treatment group interaction revealed that CST with lower QoL at baseline achieved even greater improvements in psychological QoL compared to COPE-ED. CST participants also exhibited greater improvements in Somatic QoL (P = .042), including greater improvements in pulmonary QoL (d= 0.13 [95%CI 0.01, 0.24]), less fatigue (d= 0.34 [95%CI 0.18, 0.50]), and less shortness of breath (d= 0.11 [95%CI −0.01, 0.23]) and greater improvement in distance walked on the 6 Minute Walk Test (d= 0.09 [95%CI 0.01, 0.16]). However, there was no significant difference in risk of time to COPD-related hospitalization or all-cause mortality between CST (34 events) and COPD-ED (32 events) (P= 0.430).
A telehealth coping skills training intervention produced clinically meaningful improvements in quality of life and functional capacity, but no overall improvement in risk of COPD-related hospitalization and all-cause mortality.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT00736268
COPD; stress; depression; coping skills; disease-management
The current study applied a model of pain communication  to examine the distinction between verbal and nonverbal pain expression in their prediction of punishing, empathic, and solicitous spouse responses to patient pain. It was hypothesized that on days when patients engaged in more nonverbal expression spouses would respond more positively (i.e., with less punishing, and more solicitous and empathic behavior). The same pattern was predicted for verbal expression. In addition, it was expected that associations between patient nonverbal pain expression and positive spouse responses would be strengthened, and that the association with punishing responses would be weakened, on days when levels of verbal pain expression were higher than usual, regardless of daily pain severity. In a 22-day diary study, 144 individuals with knee osteoarthritis and their spouses completed daily measures of pain expression, spouse responses, health, and affect. The predicted positive main effect of nonverbal expression on empathic and solicitous responses was supported by the data, as was the positive main effect for verbal pain expression. Results from moderation analyses partially supported our hypothesis in that a) patients’ nonverbal pain expression was even more strongly related to empathic and solicitous spouse responses on days of high verbal pain expression, and b) patients were buffered from spouse punishing responses on days when both nonverbal and verbal expression were high. These findings suggest that pain expression in both verbal and nonverbal modes of communication is important for positive and negative spousal responses.
Pain expression; spouse responses; osteoarthritis; daily
Pain is a common and complex experience for individuals who live with multiple sclerosis (MS) that interferes with physical, psychological and social function. A valid and reliable tool for quantifying observed pain behaviors in MS is critical to understanding how pain behaviors contribute to pain-related disability in this clinical population.
To evaluate the reliability and validity of a pain behavioral observation protocol in individuals who have MS.
Community-dwelling volunteers with multiple sclerosis (N=30), back pain (N=5), or arthritis (N=8) were recruited based on clinician referrals, advertisements, fliers, web postings, and participation in previous research. Participants completed measures of pain severity, pain interference, and self-reported pain behaviors and were videotaped doing typical activities (e.g., walking, sitting). Two coders independently recorded frequencies of pain behaviors by category (e.g., guarding, bracing) and inter-rater reliability statistics were calculated. Naïve observers reviewed videotapes of individuals with MS and rated their pain. Spearman correlations were calculated between pain behavior frequencies and self-reported pain and pain ratings by naïve observers.
Inter-rater reliability estimates indicated the reliability of pain codes in the MS sample. Kappa coefficients ranged from moderate agreement (sighing = 0.40) to substantial agreement (guarding = 0.83). These values were comparable to those obtained in the combined back pain and arthritis sample. Concurrent validity was supported by correlations with self-reported pain (0.46-0.53) and with self-reports of pain behaviors (0.58). Construct validity was supported by finding of 0.87 correlation between total pain behaviors observed by coders and mean pain ratings by naïve observers.
Results support use of the pain behavior observation protocol for assessing pain behaviors of individuals with MS. Valid assessments of pain behaviors of individuals with MS in could lead to creative interventions in the management of chronic pain in this population.
Multiple sclerosis; pain behaviors; observation protocol; validity
Although chronic pain has been linked to poorer psychosocial well-being in the spouse, the extent to which patient pain affects spouse sleep is unknown. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that greater daily knee pain would be associated with poorer sleep for the spouse that evening. We also tested the hypothesis that this pain contagion is exacerbated in couples who have a close relationship. A total of 138 knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients and their spouse completed baseline interviews and a 22-day diary assessment. Multilevel lagged models indicated that greater knee OA pain at the end of the day was associated with spouses’ poorer overall sleep quality that night and feeling less refreshed after sleep. In contrast, there was no evidence that spouse sleep was related to greater patient pain the next day. The effects of patient pain on spouse sleep were not due to disturbances in patient sleep and were also independent of spouse gender, depressive symptoms, and physical comorbidities; both partners’ negative affect; and the quality of marital interactions throughout the day. As predicted, we also found that patient pain was more strongly related to less refreshing sleep for spouses who were in a close relationship. Findings illustrate that chronic pain may place the spouse’s health at risk, and suggest an important target for couple-oriented interventions.
Hope may be important in explaining the variability in how patients adjust to lung cancer.
The aim of this study was to examine how hope, as conceptualized by Snyder and colleagues, is associated with multiple indices of adjustment to lung cancer. This theoretical model of hope suggests that people with high levels of hope are able to think about the pathways to goals (pathways) and feel confident that they can pursue those pathways to reach their goals (agency).
We hypothesized that higher levels of hope, as measured by Snyder et al.’s hope scale, would be related to lower levels of pain and other lung cancer symptoms (i.e., fatigue, cough) and lower psychological distress (i.e., depression). Participants in this study included patients with a diagnosis of lung cancer (n = 51). All participants provided demographic and medical information and completed measures of hope, lung cancer symptoms, and psychological distress.
Data analyses found that hope was inversely associated with major symptoms of cancer (i.e., pain, fatigue, cough) and psychological distress (i.e., depression), even after accounting for important demographic and medical variables (i.e., age, cancer stage).
The findings of this cross-sectional study highlight the potential importance of hope in understanding adjustment to lung cancer. Future longitudinal research could help reveal how hope and adjustment interact over the course of cancer survivorship.
Hope; lung cancer; pain
Examining the degree to which disease severity and domains of self-efficacy (pain, function, other symptoms) explain pain and functioning in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Patients (N=263) completed the Arthritis Impact Measurements Scales-2 to assess pain and functioning (physical, affective, and social), the Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale to assess three self-efficacy domains (pain, physical function, other); disease severity was assessed with C-reactive protein, physician's rating, abnormal joint count. Structural equation modeling was used to examine hypotheses: 1) does disease severity have a direct relationship with pain and each area of functioning, 2) does disease severity have a direct relationship with each arthritis self-efficacy domain, and 3) do the self-efficacy domains mediate the relationship between disease severity and RA pain and each area of functioning.
Disease severity was related to pain, physical functioning, and each self-efficacy domain (β's=.28-.56; p's<.001). Each self-efficacy domain was related to its respective domain of functioning (e.g., self-efficacy for pain was related to pain) (β's=.36-.54; p's<.001). Self-efficacy mediated the relationship between disease severity and pain and functioning (β's=.12-.19; p's<.001). Self-efficacy for pain control and to perform functional tasks accounted for 32-42% of disease severity's total effect on their respective outcomes (e.g., self-efficacy for pain control accounted for 32% of disease severity's total effect on pain). Variance accounted for by the total model was 52% for pain, 53% for physical functioning, and 44% for affective and social functioning.
Disease severity and self-efficacy both impact RA functioning and intervening in these areas may lead to better outcomes.
This study examined the contributions of chest pain, anxiety, and pain catastrophizing to disability in 97 patients with non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP). We also tested whether chest pain and anxiety were indirectly related to greater disability via pain catastrophizing.
Participants completed daily diaries measuring chest pain for seven days prior to completing measures of pain catastrophizing, trait anxiety, and disability. Linear path model analyses examined the contributions of chest pain, trait anxiety, and catastrophizing to physical disability, psychosocial disability, and disability in work, home, and recreational activities.
Path models accounted for a significant amount of the variability in disability scales (R2=.35 to .52). Chest pain and anxiety accounted for 46% of the variance in pain catastrophizing. Both chest pain (β=.18, Sobel test Z=2.58, p<.01) and trait anxiety (β=.14, Sobel test Z=2.11, p<.05) demonstrated significant indirect relationships with physical disability via pain catastrophizing. Chest pain demonstrated a significant indirect relationship with psychosocial disability via pain catastrophizing (β=.12, Sobel test Z=1.96, p=.05). After controlling for the effects of chest pain and anxiety, pain catastrophizing was no longer related to disability in work, home, and recreational activities.
Chest pain and anxiety were directly related to greater disability and indirectly related to physical and psychosocial disability via pain catastrophizing. Efforts to improve functioning in NCCP patients should consider addressing pain catastrophizing.
non-cardiac chest pain; catastrophizing; anxiety; disability
This study examined the degree to which pain catastrophizing and pain-related fear explain pain, psychological disability, physical disability, and walking speed in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Participants in this study were 106 individuals diagnosed as having OA of at least one knee, who reported knee pain persisting six months or longer. Results suggest that pain catastrophizing explained a significant proportion (all P's ≤ 0.05) of variance in measures of pain (partial r2 [pr2] = 0.10), psychological disability (pr2 = 0.20), physical disability (pr2 = 0.11), and gait velocity at normal (pr2 = 0.04), fast (pr2 = 0.04), and intermediate speeds (pr2 = 0.04). Pain-related fear explained a significant proportion of the variance in measures of psychological disability (pr2 = 0.07) and walking at a fast speed (pr2 = 0.05). Pain cognitions, particularly pain catastrophizing, appear to be important variables in understanding pain, disability, and walking at normal, fast, and intermediate speeds in knee OA patients. Clinicians interested in understanding variations in pain and disability in this population may benefit by expanding the focus of their inquiries beyond traditional medical and demographic variables to include an assessment of pain catastrophizing and pain-related fear.
Pain catastrophizing; pain-related fear; osteoarthritis
The purpose of this study was to determine whether a couple-oriented education and support intervention for osteoarthritis was more efficacious than a similar patient-oriented intervention in terms of enhancing spouses’ support of patients and their positive and negative responses to patient pain. Repeated-measures analyses of covariance with the completers sample (N = 103 dyads) showed that at the postintervention assessment, patients in the couple-oriented intervention reported a greater decrease in their spouses’ punishing responses (e.g., anger, irritation) than did patients in the patient-oriented intervention. In addition, a trend effect was observed in regard to the advantage of couple-oriented intervention for increasing spouses’ attempts to distract patients from their pain. At the 6-month follow-up, patients in the couple-oriented intervention reported greater increased spouse support than those in the patient-oriented intervention. Findings illustrate the value of examining change in specific types of marital interactions targeted in a couples intervention, and the need to strengthen the impact of future couple-oriented interventions.
osteoarthritis; spouses; couple-oriented; randomized controlled trial
To evaluate the existing literature on psychological, social, and behavioral aspects of chronic hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection and antiviral treatment; provide the state of the behavioral science in areas that currently hinder HCV-related health outcomes; and make recommendations for areas in which clinical psychology can make significant contributions.
The extant literature on HCV and antiviral therapy was reviewed as related to biopsychosocial factors such as mental health, substance/alcohol use, quality of life, coping, stigma, racial disparities, side effects, treatment adherence, integrated care, and psychological interventions.
For reasons that have not been well elucidated, individuals infected with HCV experience psychological and somatic problems and report poor health-related quality of life. Preexisting conditions, including poor mental health and alcohol/substance use, can interfere with access to and successful completion of HCV treatment. Perceived stigma is highly prevalent and associated with psychological distress. Racial disparities exist for HCV prevalence, treatment uptake, and treatment success. During HCV treatment, patients experience exacerbation of symptoms, treatment side effects, and poorer quality of life, making it difficult to complete treatment. Despite pharmacological advances in HCV treatment, improvements in clinical and public health outcomes have not been realized. The reasons for this lack of impact are multifactorial, but include suboptimal referral and access to care for many patients, treatment-related side effects, treatment nonadherence, and lack of empirically-based approaches.
Biomedical advances in HCV and antiviral treatment have created a fertile field in which psychologists are uniquely positioned to make important contributions to HCV management and treatment.
Interferon; Psychosocial; Coping; Adherence; Multidisciplinary
Because Tai Chi (TC) is beneficial to elders without cognitive impairment (CI), it also may benefit elders with CI. But elders with CI have generally been excluded from TC studies because many measurement tools require verbal reports and some elders with CI are unable to provide.
To tested the efficacy of a TC program in improving pain and other health outcomes in community-dwelling elders with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and CI.
This pilot cluster-randomized trial was conducted between January 2008 and June 2010 (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01528566). The TC group attended Sun style TC classes, three sessions a week for 20 weeks; the control group attended classes providing health and cultural information for the same length of time. Measures included the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain, physical function and stiffness subscales, the Get Up and Go test, the Sit-to-Stand test and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), administered at baseline, every four weeks during the intervention and at the end of the study (post-test).
Eight sites participated in either the TC group (four sites, 28 participants) or the control group (four sites, 27 participants). The WOMAC pain (P=0.006) and stiffness scores (P=0.010) differed significantly between the two groups at post-test, whereas differences between the two groups in the WOMAC physical function score (P=0.071) and the MMSE (P=0.096) showed borderline significance at the post-test. WOMAC pain (P=0.001), physical function (P=0.021) and stiffness (P≤0.001) scores improved significantly more over time in the TC group than in controls. No adverse events were found in either group.
Practicing TC can be efficacious in reducing pain and stiffness in elders with knee OA and CI.
Tai Chi; osteoarthritis; knee; pain; physical function; cognitive function
Physical activity is critical for the management of knee osteoarthritis, and the spouse may play a role in encouraging or discouraging physical activity.
To examine four types of spousal influence—spouses' daily activity, autonomy support, pressure, and persuasion--on the daily physical activity of adults living with knee osteoarthritis.
A total of 141 couples reported their daily experiences for 22 days using a handheld computer, and wore an accelerometer to measure moderate activity and steps.
Spouses' autonomy support for patient physical activity, as well as their own level of activity, was concurrently associated with patients' greater daily moderate activity and steps. In addition, on days when male patients perceived that spouses exerted more pressure to be active, they spent less time in moderate activity.
Couple-oriented interventions for knee osteoarthritis should target physical activity in both partners and spousal strategies for helping patients stay active.
couples; physical activity; daily diary; arthritis; autonomy support; social control
There is limited information about how morbidly obese osteoarthritis (OA) patients cope with the pain they experience. Pain catastrophizing is an important predictor of pain and adjustment in persons with persistent pain. This may be particularly relevant in the morbidly obese (body mass index [BMI] of 40 kg/m2 or greater) OA population at risk for increased pain. The present study first examined whether borderline morbidly obese and morbidly obese OA patients report higher levels of pain catastrophizing than a sample of OA patients in the overweight and obese category (BMI between 25 kg/m2 and 34 kg/m2). Next, it examined how pain catastrophizing is related to important indexes of pain and adjustment in borderline morbidly obese and morbidly obese OA patients.
Participants included 43 individuals with knee OA who were borderline morbidly obese or morbidly obese (BMI of 38 kg/m2 or greater). Participants completed self-report measures of pain catastrophizing, pain, psychological distress, quality of life, binge eating and eating self-efficacy.
The sample of borderline morbidly obese and morbidly obese OA patients reported significantly higher levels of pain catastrophizing (P=0.007) than a comparison sample of overweight and obese OA patients. Results suggested that patients who engaged in a high level of pain catastrophizing reported having much more intense and unpleasant pain, higher levels of binge eating, lower self-efficacy for controlling their eating and lower weight-related quality of life (P<0.05 for all).
Pain catastrophizing is related to pain and adjustment in borderline morbidly obese and morbidly obese OA patients. Clinicians working with this population should consider assessing pain catastrophizing in the patients they treat.
Morbidly obese; Osteoarthritis; Pain catastrophizing
This study used Ward’s minimum variance hierarchical cluster analysis to identify homogeneous subgroups of rheumatoid arthritis patients suffering from chronic pain who exhibited similar pain behavior patterns during a videotaped behavior sample. Ninety-two rheumatoid arthritis patients were divided into two samples. Six motor pain behaviors were examined: guarding, bracing, active rubbing, rigidity, grimacing, and sighing. The cluster analysis procedure identified four similar subgroups in Sample 1 and Sample 2. The first subgroup exhibited low levels of all pain behaviors. The second subgroup exhibited a high level of guarding and low levels of other pain behaviors. The third subgroup exhibited high levels of guarding and rigidity and low levels of other pain behaviors. The fourth subgroup exhibited high levels of guarding and active rubbing and low levels of other pain behaviors. Sample 1 contained a fifth subgroup that exhibited a high level of active rubbing and low levels of other pain measures. The results of this study suggest that there are homogeneous subgroups within rheumatoid arthritis patient populations who differ in the motor pain behaviors they exhibit.
Pain behavior subgroups; observable pain behaviors; self-report pain levels; psychological distress; rheumatoid arthritis
Emotional disclosure by writing or talking about stressful life experiences improves health status in non-clinical populations, but its success in clinical populations, particularly rheumatoid arthritis (RA), has been mixed. In this randomized, controlled trial, we attempted to increase the efficacy of emotional disclosure by having a trained clinician help patients emotionally disclose and process stressful experiences. We randomized 98 adults with RA to one of four conditions: a) private verbal emotional disclosure; b) clinician-assisted verbal emotional disclosure; c) arthritis information control (all of which engaged in four, 30-minute laboratory sessions); or d) no-treatment, standard care only control group. Outcome measures (pain, disability, affect, stress) were assessed at baseline, 2 months following treatment (2-month follow-up), and at 5-month, and 15-month follow-ups. A manipulation check demonstrated that, as expected, both types of emotional disclosure led to immediate (post-session) increases in negative affect compared with arthritis information. Outcome analyses at all three follow-ups revealed no clear pattern of effects for either clinician-assisted or private emotional disclosure compared with the two control groups. There were some benefits in terms of a reduction in pain behavior with private disclosure versus clinician-assisted disclosure at the 2 month follow-up, but no other significant between group differences. We conclude that verbal emotional disclosure about stressful experiences, whether conducted privately or assisted by a clinician, has little or no benefit for people with RA.
This study examined arthritis self-efficacy and self-efficacy for resisting eating as predictors of pain, disability, and eating behaviors in overweight or obese patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Patients (N=174) with a body mass index between 25 and 42 completed measures of arthritis-related self-efficacy, weight-related self-efficacy, pain, physical disability, psychological disability, overeating, and demographic and medical information. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted to examine whether arthritis self-efficacy (efficacy for pain control, physical function, and other symptoms) and self-efficacy for resisting eating accounted for significant variance in pain, disability, and eating behaviors after controlling for demographic and medical characteristics. Analyses also tested whether the contributions of self-efficacy were domain specific. Results showed that self-efficacy for pain accounted for 14% (p=.01) of the variance in pain, compared to only 3% accounted for by self-efficacy for physical function and other symptoms. Self-efficacy for physical function accounted for 10% (p=.001) of the variance in physical disability, while self-efficacy for pain and other symptoms accounted for 3%. Self-efficacy for other (emotional) symptoms and resisting eating accounted for 21% (p<.05) of the variance in psychological disability, while self-efficacy for pain control and physical function were not significant predictors. Self-efficacy for resisting eating accounted for 28% (p=.001) of the variance in eating behaviors. Findings indicate that self-efficacy is important in understanding pain and behavioral adjustment in overweight or obese OA patients. Moreover, the contributions of self-efficacy were domain specific. Interventions targeting both arthritis self-efficacy and self-efficacy for resisting eating may be helpful in this population.
We describe the development and validation of the PROMIS Sexual Function and Satisfaction (PROMIS SexFS) measures version 1.0 for cancer populations.
To develop a customizable self-report measure of sexual function and satisfaction as part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health PROMIS® Network.
Our multidisciplinary working group followed a comprehensive protocol for developing psychometrically robust patient reported outcome (PRO) measures including qualitative (scale development) and quantitative (psychometric evaluation) development. We performed an extensive literature review, conducted 16 focus groups with cancer patients and multiple discussions with clinicians, and evaluated candidate items in cognitive testing with patients. We administered items to 819 cancer patients. Items were calibrated using item response theory and evaluated for reliability and validity.
Main Outcome Measures
The PROMIS Sexual Function and Satisfaction (PROMIS SexFS) measures version 1.0 include 79 items in 11 domains: interest in sexual activity, lubrication, vaginal discomfort, erectile function, global satisfaction with sex life, orgasm, anal discomfort, therapeutic aids, sexual activities, interfering factors, and screener questions.
In addition to content validity (patients indicate that items cover important aspects of their experiences) and face validity (patients indicate that items measure sexual function and satisfaction), the measure shows evidence for discriminant validity (domains discriminate between groups expected to be different), convergent validity (strong correlations between scores on PROMIS and scores on conceptually-similar older measures of sexual function), as well as favorable test-retest reliability among people not expected to change (inter-class correlations from 2 administrations of the instrument, 1 month apart).
The PROMIS SexFS offers researchers a reliable and valid set of tools to measure self-reported sexual function and satisfaction among diverse men and women. The measures are customizable; researchers can select the relevant domains and items comprising those domains for their study.
patient-reported outcome measures; sexual function; satisfaction; cancer; quality of life; male and female sexual dysfunction
Non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP) is a common and distressing condition. Prior studies suggest that psychotropic medication or pain coping skills training (CST) may benefit NCCP patients. To our knowledge, no clinical trials have examined the separate and combined effects of CST and psychotropic medication in the management of NCCP. This randomized clinical trial examined the separate and combined effects of CST and antidepressant medication (sertraline) in participants with non-cardiac chest pain. A sample of individuals diagnosed with NCCP was randomly assigned to one of four treatments: (1) CST plus sertraline (CST + sertraline), (2) CST plus placebo (CST + placebo), (3) sertraline alone, or (4) placebo alone. Assessments of pain intensity, pain unpleasantness, anxiety, pain catastrophizing, depression, and physical disability were collected prior to treatment, and at 10- and 34-weeks following randomization. Data analyses revealed that CST and sertraline either alone or in combination significantly reduced pain intensity and pain unpleasantness. The combination of CST plus sertraline may have the greatest promise in that, when compared to placebo alone, it not only significantly reduced pain but also pain catastrophizing and anxiety. Overall, these findings support the importance of further research on the effects of CST and sertraline for non-cardiac chest pain.
Non-cardiac chest pain; Pain; Pain catastrophizing; Coping skills training; Sertraline; Anxiety