Changes in chronically ill patients' self-management skills and resources following 14 days of inpatient treatment in a Department for Integrative Medicine: An observational pilot study

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Journal Article
European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2013, 5 (2), pp. 165 - 170
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Introduction: Integrative medicine inpatient treatment can improve health-related quality of life and mental health in chronically ill patients. This study aimed to explore the potential effect of a 14-day integrative inpatient treatment on chronically ill patients' self-management skills and resources; also focusing on gender specific effects. Materials and methods: A longitudinal prospective cohort study without a control group was conducted at the Department for Complementary and Integrative Medicine. The intervention consisted of individualized conventional and complementary medical treatments; the latter including mind/body techniques. The main outcomes were patients' self-management skills and resources according to the FERUS-questionnaire which measures motivation-to-change, coping, self-observation, self-efficacy, self-verbalization, hope and social support. FERUS data were compared before and after 14 days of hospital inpatient treatment, using repeated measurement ANOVA, with time as within-subject and gender as well as the amount of received mind/body interventions as between-subject factors. Results: Data from 73 patients between September and October 2007 (55 female, 51.5. ±. 13.5 years) were available. Statistical analyses showed significant overall increases in patients' self-management skills on the coping, self-observation, self-verbalization and social support FERUS sub-scales (. p<. 0.05). Significant interactions were also found for the subscales self-efficacy, hope and their FERUS total scores; with increases in these scores for women only (. p<. 0.05). No effects were found for the numbers of mind/body therapies. Conclusion: Participants' self-management skills significantly increased after a resource-oriented approach to treating chronic disease. These results suggest that further research into the use of integrative treatment approaches for patients with chronic illness is warranted. © 2012 Elsevier GmbH.
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