Another study has shown that interdisciplinary approaches to pain management may have different effects on women than men.
Working with the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath, researchers from the Pain Management Unit carried out assessments on 98 patients in chronic pain as they went through a pain management programme involving physiotherapy, psychological treatments and occupational therapy.
Whilst both men and women exhibited a significant reduction in pain intensity both during and immediately after the programme, three months later women reported the same levels of pain as pre-treatment, whereas men's remained the same as immediately post-treatment. Interestingly, there were improvements in disability, in both sexes, which were maintained at follow-up. This suggested that there may also be important differences in pain experiences and improvements in disability.
"Gender can be profitably examined as a potential predictor of pain experience, and in particular, pain following treatment, but it is too early to say exactly how gender-specific interventions can be tailored to address these potentially important differences," said Dr Keogh.
"However, evidence is certainly converging to suggest that accounting for greater differences may increase the overall effectiveness of treatments."