Edith Cowan University
Place of Publication
Bunbury, Western Australia
WA Centre for Rural Health and Community Development
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a six-week program in pain management for patients with chronic pain referred by GPs in Bunbury, Australind, Harvey, Collie, and Donnybrook. The evaluation consisted of a retrospective analysis of patient data from the first 3 courses of the program (November 1996 to March 1997), and satisfaction surveys for 26 clients, 26 GPs and the 7 staff in the multidisciplinary team.
A comparison of pre-program and post-program pain inventory psychometric measures revealed a significant decrease in the amount pain interfered with general activity, social activities, normal work, sleep and mood. There was a trend towards an increase in sense of control or coping, but no change is recorded in the severity of pain or the relief obtained from medication or analgesics. It is important to note that nearly all the variables changed favourably despite the reported pain levels remaining high and the same pre- and post-program. This is consistent with outcomes of other pain management programs which conclude that improvements resulted from implementing strategies for coping with pain rather than reducing pain. Similarly the changes in the Physical Fitness Measures, before and at completion of the program, reflected a significant improvement in fitness and endurance.