Interdisciplinary Treatment of Morbidity in Benign Chest Pain
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This study tested the hypothesis that functional morbidity in benign chest pain can be modified independently of symptoms through interdisciplinary medical and cognitive-behavioral intervention. Analyses used data collected in a sixteen-week trial of interdisciplinary treatment for disability in benign chest pain. One hundred four chest pain patients having normal coronary arteriograms (NCA) (n = 14) or mitral valve prolapse (MVP) with no other known cardiac or arterial disease (n = 90) were assigned to individual treatment, group treatment, self-monitoring attention control, or a wait-list control group. Results indicate that interdisciplinary intervention, in group or individualized format, was successful for improving short-term and long-term (follow-up range = six to sixteen months) functional status, in both MVP and NCA patients. Correlation analysis indicated that functional improvements were not dependent on reductions in the frequency of symptoms. In fact, significant reductions in disability were obtained in those treated patients (13 of 43) who reported no reduction, or an actual increase, in the frequency of chest symptoms. These data indicate that disability in benign chest pain may be modified independently of symptoms by an integration of medical and cognitive-behavioral strategies.
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