Occupational Therapists' Beliefs regarding Treatment Options for People with Chronic Pain

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An expanding body of chronic pain research is now evident within occupational therapy and strong support has developed during the last 10 years for the multidisciplinary approach to the management of chronic pain. Although this stand is now subject to growing scrutiny, a multidisciplinary structure continues to be the environment for most outcome studies. Occupational therapists, as accepted and involved members of pain management programmes, need to examine the values and beliefs that they bring to the treatment team.

As part of a wider research study of the congruence between what service providers and service users believe to be necessary treatments for chronic pain, the members of the National Occupational Therapy Pain Association were surveyed in January 2001. The survey asked therapists' opinion about whether specific treatment components were needed or not needed for people with chronic pain. The survey also included Skevington's (1990) Beliefs about Pain Control Questionnaire (BPCQ), which measures beliefs in the internal or personal control of pain, beliefs that powerful others (doctors) control pain and beliefs that pain is controlled by chance events.

The findings showed that there were few treatment components that 100% of the respondents agreed were needed. Endorsements clustered around treatments that focused on self-management and a statistically significant relationship emerged between certain treatment components and BPCQ scores. The paper concludes by discussing some possible influences on occupational therapists' decision making in relation to treatments for chronic pain.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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