This study investigated the effects of an exposure in vivo treatment for chronic pain patients with high levels of fear and avoidance. The fear-avoidance model offers an enticing explanation of why some back pain patients develop persistent disability, stressing the role of catastrophic interpretations; largely fueled by beliefs and expectations that activity will cause injury and will worsen the pain problem. Recently, an exposure in vivo treatment was developed that aims to enhance function by directly addressing these fears and expectations. The purpose of this study was to describe the short-term, consequent effect of an exposure in vivo treatment. The study employed a multiple baseline design with six patients who were selected based on their high levels of fear and avoidance. The results demonstrated clear decreases in rated fear and avoidance beliefs while function increased substantially. These improvements were observed even though rated pain intensity actually decreased somewhat. Thus, the results replicate and extend the findings of previous studies to a new setting, with other therapists and a new research design. These results, together with the initial studies, provide a basis for pursuing and further developing the exposure technique and to test it in group designs with larger samples.
SOCIAL SCIENCES (hsv//eng)
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Psykologi (hsv//swe)
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Psychology (hsv//eng)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Hälsovetenskaper (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Health Sciences (hsv//eng)