Evid Based Med 17:181-182 doi:10.1136/ebmed-2012-100564
  • Therapeutics

For people with persistent tension-type neck pain, a multicomponent pain and stress self-management intervention gives better improvement in ability to control pain and self-efficacy, but not disability, than physical therapy

  1. Henry Pollard
  1. Department of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Henry Pollard
    Department of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, PO Box 448 Cronulla, Sydney, NSW 2230, Australia; hpollard{at}

Commentary on:


Gustavsson et al aim to compare the long-term effects of a multicomponent pain and stress self-management group intervention (PASS) and individually administered physical therapy (IAPT) on patients with persistent tension-type neck pain in a primary healthcare setting.


Patients with neck pain seeking physical therapy treatment at nine physiotherapy health centres in Sweden were consecutively recruited from 2004 to 2006. They were examined by a physical therapist and included if they were 18–65 years of age and had persistent tension-type neck pain of 3 months or more. Exclusions were having received a similar programme previously, pregnancy, language and psychosis (one each), depression (n=16) or receipt of other treatment (n=5).

Patients were randomly allocated into two groups and were …

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