Success or failure of chronic pain rehabilitation: the importance of good interaction - a qualitative study under patients and professionals

B. Oosterhof, J.H.M. Dekker, M. Sloots, E.A.C. Bartels, J. Dekker

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this study was to explore which factors are associated with a successful treatment outcome in chronic pain patients and professionals participating in a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program, with a specific focus on the patient-professional interaction. Methods: Patients (n = 16) and professionals (n = 10) were interviewed and/or observed. The transcribed interviews and observations were analyzed and themes were described. Results: Patients with a positive treatment outcome came to a shared understanding of their pain with their professional, demonstrated new learned behavior and were able to continue their learning process at home. Patients with a negative treatment outcome did not reach a shared understanding of their pain with their professional, were not able to change their behavior and wanted more help to achieve this. Both patient groups experienced organizational barriers within the treatment process. Factors associated with a high quality of patient-professional interaction included the patient experience of being taken seriously, the involvement of the professional with the patient, a clear explanation of the pain, and an open interaction between patient and professional. Conclusion: This study provides insight into factors which were related to a positively or negatively experienced outcome of pain rehabilitation. A good match within the patient-professional interaction seems essential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1903-1910
JournalDisability and rehabilitation
Issue number22
Early online date1 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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