This paper discusses the rationale for and content of a newly developed treatment for shoulder complaints, and describes a randomised study which is currently being conducted to test effectiveness of the treatment. In current practice, approximately 50% of all patients with shoulder complaints mention limitations in the performance of daily activities and persisting pain after six months. To improve the functional ability of patients with chronic shoulder complaints, despite their pain, we have developed an operant behavioural and time-contingent graded exercise therapy programme for use in a primary care setting. We present the theory and conceptual model underlying this programme, report on its development and content, and describe the design of a randomised clinical trial to evaluate the programme's effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. One hundred and thirty-two patients who suffer from shoulder complaints for at least 3 months are being recruited in general practice. After inclusion in the study, patients are allocated randomly to the graded exercise therapy programme or to usual care. Questionnaires will be used to measure factors like severity of the main complaint, functional limitations of daily activities, perceived recovery, global health status, shoulder pain, generic health-related quality of life, and costs. Thes factors ill be assessed at baseline, during treatment (6 weeks), and after treatment (12, 26, and 52 weeks).
Geraets, J. J. X. R., Goossens, M. E. J. B., de Bruijn, C. P. C., Köke, A. J. A., de Bie, R. A., Pelt, R. A. G. B., … van der Heijden, G. J. M. G. (2004). A behavioural treatment for chronic shoulder complaints: Concepts, development, and study design. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 50(1), 33–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0004-9514(14)60246-4