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Background. Long-term musculoskeletal pain is a major, often undertreated, disabling health problem among an increasing number of older adults. Reflective STRENGTH-giving dialogues (STRENGTH) may be a tool to support older adults living with long-term pain. The main aim of this pilot study was to investigate the immediate and longitudinal effect of the intervention STRENGTH on levels of pain, wellbeing, occurrence of depression symptoms, and sense of coherence (SOC) among community-dwelling older adults suffering from musculoskeletal pain compared to a control group. Methods. The study was semiexperimental with an intervention group and a control group. The effect of a single STRENGTH intervention was reported on the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) regarding pain and wellbeing. To evaluate the longitudinal effect of STRENGTH, using the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI-SF), the Geriatric Depression Scale-20 (GDS-20), SOC-13 at baseline (T1), and six months after the intervention/no intervention (T2), a total of 30 older adults, aged 72 to 97 years (Mdn 86 years), were included consecutively and fulfilled the intervention series (n = 18) or untreated controls (n = 12). Results. The intervention with STRENGTH decreases pain (NRS 6 Mdn versus NRS 4 Mdn, p < 0.001) and increases wellbeing (NRS 7 Mdn versus NRS 8 Mdn, p < 0.001). After a six-month study period with STRENGTH, no longitudinal effect difference was found compared to baseline. Compared to the control group, there was an increasing trend between decreased pain level and increased SOC level for STRENGTH intervention. Conclusions. This pilot study supports STRENGTH’s effect as a pain-alleviating model that provides a decrease in pain levels and an increase of wellbeing in older adults with long-term pain. STRENGTH dialogues could be a useful intervention to provide individually holistic care in older adults living with long-term pain.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.