Pain control: Mastery through group experience
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This paper describes a group program which is part of the therapeutic management of out-patients with chronic pain at the multidisciplinary Pain Clinic in Hamilton, Ontario (McMaster Division, Chedoke-McMaster Hospital). The programme seeks to assist chronic pain sufferers in developing more adaptive coping styles. Groups of 12--14 patients meet for 9 weeks, 3 h/week, under the co-leadership of a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist with backgrounds in psychology and psychiatry. Seventy-five patients with diverse aetiologies of chronic pain have completed these "pain control classes". Outcome was assessed on the basis of several parameters. Results indicate a considerable reduction in depression, pain perception and analgesic intake. Conversely, employment figures increased from 20 to 48% after completion of the program. 21% were considered failures. Significant variables differentiating successes from failures were sex, marital status, work incentive, employment and absence of litigation or Workmen's Compensation claims.
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