No benefit of positive psychological intervention in OA trial
medwireNews: Results from the Staying Positive With Arthritis Study suggest that participating in a telephone-administered psychological intervention does not improve pain and functional ability in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).
In the trial involving 360 patients aged an average of 64 years, those who were randomly assigned to receive a 6 weeks of an intervention encouraging positive activities such as expressing gratitude and practicing kindness did not experience significantly greater improvements in WOMAC pain and functional difficulty scores between baseline and follow-up at 1, 3, and 6 months than patients who received a control intervention with neutral activities.
Additionally, changes in these scores were not significantly different among White compared with African–American participants, report the researchers in JAMA Network Open.
These findings “do not support the use of positive psychological interventions as a stand-alone treatment for pain” in the population studied, write Leslie Hausmann (Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pennsylvania, USA) and colleagues.
However, the author of an accompanying commentary, Afton Hassett (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA) believes that it may be premature to “throw the baby out with the bath water,” as positive psychological interventions may have potential “as an adjunctive treatment for other more established behavioral interventions.”
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