USE OF A SPOUSE EDUCATION, COUNSELING, AND SUPPORT GROUP IN THE TREATMENT OF FIBROSITIS.
AuthorBOLAND, KEVIN MARK.
Committee ChairJohnson, Bob
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of spouse participation in treatment on symptomatology in individuals suffering from fibrositis, a form of soft tissue rheumatism which has no identifiable, organic etiology and which represents a chronic, intractable pain disorder. While spouse participation has been widely advocated in the treatment of fibrositis and other chronic pain disorders, its effects as a unitary variable had not yet been objectively measured. In the present study, spouse participation consisted of a six-week, seven session group therapy program. Educational materials, counseling, and mutual support were utilized. Patients themselves were not directly exposed to treatment. Five patient-spouse diads were randomly assigned to each of the two treatment groups. Coincidental attrition resulted in the loss of one diad from each group. A time-series design was used in which treatment and nontreatment intervals were alternated for the two treatment groups. Six dependent measures were administered to the patients at pretest, posttest, and follow-up. The measures assessed were: pain intensity, functional activity, psychological adjustment, emotional dependency, and awareness of disability. The last two measures were also administered at pretest, posttest, and follow-up to the spouses. Significant results beyond the .05 level of confidence were yielded on psychological adjustment and awareness of disability for the patients. Analysis of individual subscales revealed that a significant reduction had occurred on the following scales: somatization, depression, obsessive-compulsiveness, psychoticism, and emotional reliance on others. Improvement did not reach a statistically significant level on pain intensity, functional activity, or overall dependency. Significant results were achieved only on the variable of awareness of disability for the spouses. The findings indicate that spouse participation in treatment had measurable, beneficial effects on symptomatology for the patients in this study, and support the application of similar interventions with other fibrositis and/or chronic pain patients.