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1.  A behavioral medicine intervention for older women living alone with chronic pain – a feasibility study 
To be an older woman, live alone, have chronic pain, and be dependent on support are all factors that may have an impact on daily life. One way to promote ability in everyday activities in people with pain-related conditions is to use individualized, integrated behavioral medicine in physical therapy interventions. How this kind of intervention works for older women living alone at home, with chronic pain, and dependent on formal care to manage their everyday lives has not been studied. The aim was to explore the feasibility of a study and to evaluate an individually tailored integrated behavioral medicine in physical therapy intervention for the target group of women.
Materials and methods
The study was a 12-week randomized trial with two-group design. Primary effect outcomes were pain-related disability and morale. Secondary effect outcomes focused on pain-related beliefs, self-efficacy for exercise, concerns of falling, physical activity, and physical performance.
In total, 23 women agreed to participate in the study and 16 women completed the intervention. The results showed that the behavioral medicine in physical therapy intervention was feasible. No effects were seen on the primary effect outcomes. The experimental intervention seemed to improve the level of physical activity and self-efficacy for exercise. Some of the participants in both groups perceived that they could manage their everyday life in a better way after participation in the study.
Results from this study are encouraging, but the study procedure and interventions have to be refined and tested in a larger feasibility study to be able to evaluate the effects of these kinds of interventions on pain-related disability, pain-related beliefs, self-efficacy in everyday activities, and morale in the target group. Further research is also needed to refine and evaluate effects from individualized reminder routines, support to collect self-report data, safety procedures for balance training, and training of personnel to enhance self-efficacy.
PMCID: PMC4144940  PMID: 25170262
biopsychosocial model; community-dwelling; elderly; female; exercise intervention; physical therapy
2.  Interventions aimed at increasing the level of physical activity by including organised follow-up: a systematic review of effect 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:120.
Organised follow-up is a common feature of several strategies at the primary health care level to promote health behaviour change, e.g. to increase physical activity. In Norway, municipal ‘healthy living’ centres run by health care personnel are established to offer counselling and organised follow-up of health behaviour change during a 12-week programme. We report the results of a systematic review commissioned by the Norwegian Directorate of Health concerning organised follow-up to improve physical activity.
We searched ten electronic databases up to June 2012, reference lists of included publications, and relevant journals. Study selection and quality risk of bias assessment were carried out independently. Data were synthesised narratively due to heterogeneity of measurements of physical activity. The GRADE approach was used to assess our confidence in the effect estimate for each outcome in each comparison.
Fourteen randomised controlled trials from seven countries and with a total of 5,002 participants were included in the systematic review. All studies were carried out in primary care or community settings. The interventions comprised referral to supervised group physical activity (2 studies), referral to local resources with follow-up (6 studies), and self-organised physical activity with follow-up (6 studies). The narrative synthesis, comprising a total of 39 comparisons, indicated effects of self-organised physical activity with follow-up (compared to both advice and no treatment) and referral to local resources with follow-up (compared to advice) in some of the comparisons where we rated our confidence in the effect estimates as moderate. However, the results indicated no difference between intervention and control groups for the majority of comparisons. Follow-up in the studies was mainly short-term with the longest follow-up 9 months post-treatment. We rated our confidence in the effect estimates as low or very low in most comparisons, both for positive and neutral results.
The results of this systematic review indicate considerable uncertainty concerning effects of organised follow-up during 10–14 weeks on physical activity. Major methodological problems concerning the measurement of physical activity are discussed.
Trial registration
Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42011001598.
PMCID: PMC4075600  PMID: 24934215
Health behavior; Primary health care; Review
3.  Life values as predictors of pain, disability and sick leave among Swedish registered nurses: a longitudinal study 
BMC Nursing  2011;10:17.
Prospective studies on high-risk populations, such as subgroups of health care staff, are limited, especially prospective studies among staff not on sick-leave. This paper is a report of a longitudinal study conducted to describe and compare the importance and consistency of life domains among registered nurses (RNs) working in a Swedish hospital and evaluate a model based on the consistency of valued life domains for prediction of pain, disability and sick leave.
Importance and consistency ratings of life values, in 9 domains, were collected during 2003 and 2006 from 196 RNs using the Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ). Logistic regression analyses were used for prediction of pain, disability and sick leave at the three-year follow-up. The predictors family relations, marriage couples/intimate relations, parenting, friends/social life, work, education, leisure time, psychological well-being, and physical self-care were used at baseline.
RNs rated life values regarding parenting as most important and with the highest consistency both at baseline and at follow-up. No significant differences were found between RNs' ratings of importance and consistency over the three-year period, except for friends/social relations that revealed a significant decrease in importance at follow-up. The explanatory models for pain, disability and sick leave significantly predicted pain and disability at follow-up. The odds of having pain were significantly increased by one consistency rating (psychological well-being), while the odds were significantly decreased by physical self-care. In the model predicting disability, consistency in psychological well-being and education significantly increased the odds of being disabled, while consistency in physical self-care significantly decreased the odds.
The results suggest that there might be a link between intra-individual factors reflecting different aspects of appraised life values and musculoskeletal pain (MSP).
PMCID: PMC3198938  PMID: 21958331
4.  A Tradition in Transition: Factors Perpetuating and Hindering the Continuance of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) Summarized in a Systematic Review 
Health Care for Women International  2013;34(10):837-895.
Understanding the forces underpinning female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a necessary first step to prevent the continuation of a practice that is associated with health complications and human rights violations. To this end, a systematic review of 21 studies was conducted. Based on this review, the authors reveal six key factors that underpin FGM/C: cultural tradition, sexual morals, marriageability, religion, health benefits, and male sexual enjoyment. There were four key factors perceived to hinder FGM/C: health consequences, it is not a religious requirement, it is illegal, and the host society discourse rejects FGM/C. The results show that FGM/C appears to be a tradition in transition.
PMCID: PMC3783896  PMID: 23489149
5.  A realist synthesis of controlled studies to determine the effectiveness of interventions to prevent genital cutting of girls 
Background: Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a traditional practice which involves the partial or total removal or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Although current trends indicate that the practice is becoming less prevalent, as many as 30 million girls may still be at risk of FGM/C. Given the associated risks and violation of the human rights of girls and women, the practice is discouraged through preventative interventions.
Aims: To systematically review the effectiveness of anti-FGM/C interventions, applying a realist perspective.
Methods: The realist synthesis approach addressed context-mechanisms-outcomes (CMO) underlying intervention in an attempt to explain interventions’ success or lack thereof. The process involved exposed the usefulness of strategies in different contexts.
Results: Eight effectiveness studies and 27 context studies were included. All of the effectiveness studies employed a controlled, before-and-after study design. They formed five broad categories of intervention: training, formal classroom education, media communication, outreach and advocacy, and informal adult education. The CMO configurations showed that the proposed engine behind changing behaviours regarding FGM/C appeared largely to be dissemination of information. Some interventions’ acceptability and success rested on the incorporation of FGM/C abandonment efforts within a larger set of related issues. However, greater success of the interventions could have materialised with systematic pre-planning involving thorough community analyses and securing religious leaders’ commitment to halting FGM/C.
Conclusion: The results of this analysis point to conditions that facilitate the success of FGM/C abandonment programmes in different contexts and can be used in future prevention efforts to reduce the risk of girls being subjected to FGM/C.
PMCID: PMC3817579  PMID: 24196703
Female genital mutilation/cutting; Female circumcision; Prevention; Realist synthesis; Systematic review

Results 1-5 (5)