This pilot study examined the feasibility and potential efficacy of a self-management program for seniors with chronic back pain and assessed for possible race/ ethnicity differences in program impact. Sixty-nine seniors (24 African Americans, 25 Hispanics, and 20 non-Hispanic Whites) enrolled in the 8-wk community-based program. Efficacy outcomes included pain-related disability as measured by the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ), pain intensity, pain self-efficacy, depressive symptoms, social activity, and functional status. Eighty percent of enrollees completed the program. Clinically important decreases in RMDQ scores were found for non-Hispanic White (adjusted change score = –3.53), African American (–3.89), and Hispanic (–8.45) participants. Improvements in all other outcomes were observed, but only for Hispanic participants. Results confirm that implementation of the protocol in urban senior centers is feasible, and the program shows potential efficacy. The race/ethnicity differences observed in the current study merit further investigation.
Beissner is with the Dept. of Physical Therapy, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY. Parker, Pal, and Reid are with the Dept. of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY. Henderson is with the Dept. of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Iannone is with the Dept. of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.