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Papers of the Week

1983 Sep




Classic Paper

Efficacy of EMG biofeedback, pseudotherapy, and conventional medical treatment for chronic rheumatic back pain.


Twenty-four patients suffering from chronic rheumatic back pain were treated with EMG biofeedback, a credible pseudotherapy, or conventional medical treatment alone during a 4 week inpatient stay at a Rheumatology Clinic. At the end of the treatment phase and at the 4 month followup the patients in the biofeedback group showed significant improvements in the duration, intensity, and quality of their back pain as well as their EMG levels, negative self-statements, and utilization of the health care system. In contrast, the pseudotherapy group showed minimal, but non-significant improvements, and the medically treated group remained unchanged.