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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Feb 2022 - 4 Mar 2022


Human Studies

2022 Feb 28

J Integr Complement Med

“Practice Makes Perfect”? Associations Between Home Practice and Physical and Emotional Function Outcomes Among Patients with Chronic Pain Enrolled in a Mind-Body Program.


To summarize the characteristics of home practice adherence in patients with chronic pain randomized to a 10-week group mind-body activity program with () and without () a digital monitoring device, and test the association between home practice adherence and improvement in physical and emotional treatment outcomes. Data were collected in a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the ( = 41) and ( = 41) programs. Participants submitted weekly home practice logs depicting their daily physical activity and practice of relaxation and gratitude skills. Participants completed assessments of physical (patient-reported, performance-based, and accelerometer-measured) and emotional function outcomes both before and after the programs. Participants in both programs were combined due to the identical session and home practice content. Participants reported engaging in physical activity on average 30.62 days (SD = 20.28, 48.6% of intervention days), relaxation skill practice on average 29.87 days (SD = 21.16, 47.4% of intervention days), and gratitude practice on average 32.10 days (SD = 22.12, 51.0% of intervention days). The average duration of physical activity and relaxation skill practice were 44.40 min a day (SD = 59.44) and 11.15 min a day (SD = 12.00), respectively. The duration of physical activity was significantly associated with decrease depression symptoms ( = 0.049, η = 0.056). No other association was found between home practice and change in outcomes. Patients with chronic pain are generally able and willing to engage in home practice during a mind-body activity intervention. Emphasizing longer duration of physical activity practice may contribute to an improvement in depression. Future fully powered RCTs with rigorous assessment of home practice adherence and dose-response designs may further elucidate the role of home practice in improvements in treatment outcomes. NCT03412916.