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Physical activity with person-centred guidance supported by a digital platform for persons with chronic widespread pain: a randomized controlled trial [with consumer summary]
Juhlin S, Bergenheim A, Gjertsson I, Larsson A, Mannerkorpi K
Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 Apr;53(4):jrm00175
clinical trial
6/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: No; Adequate follow-up: No; Intention-to-treat analysis: Yes; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of a person-centred intervention, including advice on physical activity, for improving pain intensity, physical activity, and other health-related outcomes in persons with chronic widespread pain, when delivered with digital eHealth support compared with standard telephone follow-up. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial. SUBJECTS: Individuals with chronic widespread pain (n = 139), aged 20 to 65 years, who had previously participated in a pain educational programme at primary healthcare units, were contacted during the period 2018 to 2019 and randomized to an intervention group (n = 69) or an active control group (n = 70). METHODS: Together with a physiotherapist, participants in both groups developed person-centred health plans for physical activity. The intervention group was supported via a digital platform for 6 months. The active control group received support via one follow-up phone call. Primary outcome was pain intensity. Secondary outcomes were physical activity and other health-related outcomes. RESULTS: No significant differences were found between the groups after 6 months, except for a significant decrease in global fatigue in the active control group compared with the intervention group. CONCLUSION: Future development of interventions supporting persons with chronic pain to maintain regular exercise is warranted.

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