HealthDay News — A mind-body intervention can improve short-term function and current and most severe pain for elderly patients with chronic low back pain (LBP), according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Natalia E. Morone, MD, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of a mind-body program for increasing function and reducing pain in chronic LBP. Community-dwelling older adults (65 or older) with LBP-associated functional limitations and chronic pain were recruited and randomized to a mind-body program (140 participants) or a health education program (142 participants). Participants received an 8-week group program followed by 7 monthly sessions; follow-up occurred at program completion and 6 months later.

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The researchers found that the baseline mean Roland and Morris Disability Questionnaire scores were 15.6 and 15.4 for the intervention and control groups, respectively. On the Roland and Morris Disability Questionnaire, intervention participants improved an additional −1.1 points at 8 weeks and −0.04 points at 6 months compared with the control group. Intervention participants improved on the Numeric Pain Rating Scale current and most severe pain measures by an additional −1.8 and −1.0 points, respectively, by 6 months; the changes in Numeric Pain Rating Scale mean pain measure after the intervention were not significant.

“A mind-body program for chronic LBP improved short-term function and long-term current and most severe pain,” the authors write.


Morone N, Greco C, Moore C, et al. A Mind-Body Program for Older Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.8033.