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  1. M. Offenbächer1,
  2. L. Toussaint2,
  3. J. Hirsch3,
  4. M. Weigl4,
  5. N. Kohls5,
  6. M. Vallejo6,
  7. J. Rivera7,
  8. F. Sirois8,
  9. J. Dezutter9
  1. 1Gasteiner Heilstollen, Medical Department, Bad Gastein, Austria
  2. 2Luther College, Psychology, Decorah, United States of America
  3. 3East Tennessee State University, Psychology, Johnson City, United States of America
  4. 4Klinikum Großhadern, Department of Orthopaedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, München, Germany
  5. 5Coburg University of Applied Sciences, Health Promotion, Coburg, Germany
  6. 6UNED, Psychology, Madrid, Spain
  7. 7Gregorio Marañón Hospital, Rheumatology, Madrid, Spain
  8. 8The University of Sheffield, Psychology, Sheffield, United Kingdom
  9. 9University of Leuven, School Psychology and Development in Context, Leuven, Belgium


Background: In chronic pain care a multidimensional perspective with attention to patients’ cognitions, emotions, and their ability to cope is needed (1). Previous studies are also pointing to the role of experiencing meaningfulness in life in the adjustment to disability.Therefore care should additionally focus on the existential domain of patients’ lives to live up to a holistic care approach (2). However, there are only a few studies on how FM patients are satisfied with practitioners’ attention to multiple aspects of life with a chronic pain condition.

Objectives: To assess perceived satisfaction with chronic pain care and its associations with health variables in a cohort of patients with FM.

Methods: We invited 18 FM self-help groups in Germany to participate anonymously in our survey and sent them in total 192 paper-and-pencil surveys. Sociodemographics, disease related variables (e.g. pain, general health) and psychological variables [e.g. depression, anxiety, hope, stress] were assessed with standardized instruments, including 5 items (answer format 1=very unsatisfied – 10=very satisfied) assessing subjective satisfaction with medical care in different domains with the following questions: How satisfied are you with the attention of your treatment team/physician at home for physiological aspects of your pain (Physio)/ the consequences of the pain on your physical functioning (Physical)/ on your psychological well-being (Mental)/ on your social life (Social)/ on your meaning in life (Meaning).

Results: In total 162 FM patients participated (=84% response rate). Their mean age was 58 years (SD=10), 84% (N=135) were female. Highest level of education was: Elementary School 29%, Junior High School 35%, High School 15%, College 12%, and other 10%. Duration of chronic pain was 18.2 years (SD=12.0). The satisfaction with care scale showed good internal consistency and measured one factor. The means of the subscale were: Physio 5.7 (SD=2.5)/ Physical 5.5 (SD=2.5)/ Mental 5.5 (SD=2.6)/ Social 5.0 (SD=2.5)/ Meaning 5.3 (SD=2.6). Correlations of the subscales are depicted in Table 1. There were no associations between pain variables and satisfaction with care, but satisfaction with care was associated with mental health, but not physical health, outcomes.

Table 1.

Correlations of satisfaction of care with different health variables. Subscales physiological and physical aspects and HADS-anxiety were not significantly correlated. *<.05; **<.01; ns=not significant.

Conclusion: In this cohort of German FM patients the average satisfaction with care overall, as well as the specific aspects of care, was only moderate. Interestingly we found associations between satisfaction with care in mental, social and meaning in life aspects with psychological well-being pointing to the fact that care for chronic pain patients should also include those aspects in addition to just addressing biomedical aspects.

References: [1]Flor H and Turk D. Chronic pain: an integrated approach. Seattle, WA: IASP Press, 2011.

[2]Dezutter J, Casalin S, Wacholtz A, et al. Meaning in life: An important factor for the psychological well-being of chronically ill patients? Rehabilitat Psychol 2013; 58:334–341.

Disclosure of Interests: None declared

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