Chronic widespread pain is treated better by counselling over the phone with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or through following an exercise plan than visiting a GP, researcher have claimed.
The argument has been made by researchers from the University of Aberdeen and the University of Manchester who carried out the research on 442 patients through funding by Arthritis Research UK.
The patients were divided into four groups, either a CBT group, exercise, CBT and exercise, or just GP treatment
After six months of the groups undergoing their specified treatment 37% of patients who were undergoing CBT and exercise said the treatments were having a positive effect on their lives.
But only 8% were happy with the treatment offered by their GP.
In the CBT group 30% said they were happy and 35% in the exercise group were seeing positive effects on battling pain.
The CBT and combination groups said they were continuing to see positive effects nine months after the study started.
The research was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
- McBeth J, et al. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Exercise, or Both for Treating Chronic Widespread Pain. Archives of Internal Medicine 2011; Advance online publication