Physiotherapy and combined cognitive-behavioural therapy for patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome: results of a non-randomised controlled feasibility trial.

To explore feasibility in terms of delivering and evaluating a combination of physiotherapy and psychotherapy for patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS).

Prospective non-randomised controlled pilot study.

Tertiary care facility with a specialised interdisciplinary outpatient clinic for patients with CPPS.

A total of 311 patients was approached; 60 participated. 36 patients were included in the intervention group (mean age ±SD 48.6 years±14.8; 52.8% female) and 24 in the control group (mean age ±SD 50.6 years±14.5; 58.3% female). Fourteen participants were lost to follow-up.

Participants were non-randomly allocated to the intervention group with two consecutive treatment modules (physiotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy) with a duration of 9 weeks each or to the control group (treatment as usual).

Feasibility was operationalised in terms of delivering and evaluating the therapeutic combination. Regarding eligibility as the first aspect of feasibility, willingness to participate, dropout and satisfaction were assessed; for the second aspect, standardised self-report questionnaires measuring health-related quality of life, depression severity and pain were applied.

Although eligibility and willingness-to-participate rates were low, satisfaction of the participants in the intervention group was high and dropout rates were low. Results indicated a small and non-significant intervention effect in health-related quality of life and significant effects regarding depression severity and pain.

The combination of physiotherapy and psychotherapy for patients with CPPS seems to be feasible and potentially promising with regard to effect. However, a subsequent fully powered randomised controlled trial is needed.

German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00009976) and ISRCTN (ISRCTN43221600).

BMJ open. 2021 Dec 14*** epublish ***

Christian A Brünahl, Susanne G R Klotz, Christoph Dybowski, Rebecca Albrecht, Johanna Höink, Margit Fisch, Gesche Ketels, Bernd Löwe

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany ., Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany., Department of Gynaecology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany., Department of Urology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany., Department of Physiotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

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