Patient-oriented rehabilitation in the management of chronic mechanical neck pain: A randomized controlled trial

M. Paoloni, E. Tavernese, A. Cacchio, M. Tattoli, L. Melis, R. Ronconi, V. Santilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Management of chronic mechanical neck pain (CMNP) still represents a challenge. A patient- oriented (Pa-O) therapeutic approach could be considered as the one in which therapies are scheduled at the start of each therapeutic session according to the patient's current physical status, and differs from a prescription-oriented (Pr-O) therapeutic approach, in which therapies are prescribed at the first medical referral and are not adjusted at any time during the treatment period. Aim. To determine if a Pa-O approach may be more beneficial for CMNP patients when compared to a Pr-O one. Design. Randomized controlled trial. Population. 220 CMNP outpatients randomized to either Pa-O group (N.=114) or Pr-O group (N.= 106). Methods. Each group received 10 therapeutic sessions over 3 weeks. Primary outcome measures were pain assessment, evaluated by Visual-Analog-Scale (VAS), and disability level, evaluated by the Neck Pain and Disability Scale (NPDS-I). Secondary outcome measures included patients' response to treatment and treatment failures. Measurements were carried out at baseline (TO) and 1 month after treatment ended (Tl). Data were analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Results. Patients in both groups displayed atTl a significant reduction in VAS and NPDS-I scores. The relative changes at Tl were greater in Pa-O group when compared with Pr-O group both for VAS (61.5% versus 48.8%; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Exercise
  • Neck pain
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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