Improved life satisfaction and pain reduction: Follow-up of a 5-week multidisciplinary long-term pain rehabilitation programme

  • Annika Silvemark Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation Medicine, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Håkan Källmén Department of Clinical Neuroscience, STAD, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Carl Molander Department of Clinical Sciences Danderyd Hospital, Rehabilitation Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Keywords: Chronic disease, chronic pain, combined modality treatment, disability evaluation, quality of life, questionnaires, rehabilitation


Background.Multidisciplinary rehabilitation programmes can improve physical functioning and help patients with long-term pain back to work. Little is known, however, of the extent to which such rehabilitation also affects life satisfaction, pain severity, and disability. We wanted to evaluate if a 5-week rehabilitation programme for patients with long-term pain improves life satisfaction and decreases pain severity and disability.

Methods. The subjects were 164 patients aged 18–65 years from a pain rehabilitation clinic. Most of them were referred from primary care units. One group of repeated tests was used. Participants were asked to fill out the LiSat-11 checklist and parts of the Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), including pain severity, at admission, at discharge, and 1 year after the rehabilitation programme.

Results. Satisfaction with life as a whole, and six of ten LiSat-11 domains improved during the follow-up, though none reached the levels for the general population. MPI subscales pain severity, pain interference, life control, and affective distress improved, whereas no change was observed for general activity. Patients older than 38 years decreased more in MPI affective distress than younger patients. Gender, pain severity, and work status before the programme did not significantly influence the outcome.

Conclusions. The results indicate that multidisciplinary rehabilitation improves life satisfaction, reduces pain severity, and reduces negative psychological, social, and behavioural effects of pain. These outcome variables relate to domains known to be of interest for patients and should therefore be considered for evaluation of rehabilitation programmes for long-term pain.


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How to Cite
Silvemark, A., Källmén, H., & Molander, C. (2014). Improved life satisfaction and pain reduction: Follow-up of a 5-week multidisciplinary long-term pain rehabilitation programme. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 119(3), 278–286.
Original Articles