ArticlesEffects of spouse-assisted coping skills training and exercise training in patients with osteoarthritic knee pain: a randomized controlled studyKeefe, Francis Ja,*; Blumenthal, Jamesa; Baucom, Donaldb; Affleck, Glennc; Waugh, Roberta; Caldwell, David Sa; Beaupre, Pata; Kashikar-Zuck, Susmitaa; Wright, Katherinea; Egert, Jennifera; Lefebvre, JohndAuthor Information aDuke University Medical Center, Box 3129, Durham, NC 27710, USA bUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA cUniversity of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA dWofford College, Spartanburg, SC, USA *Corresponding author. Tel.: +1–919–668–2806; fax: +1–919–668–2850 E-mail: [email protected] Submitted June 6, 2003; revised January 21, 2004; accepted March 4, 2004. Pain: August 2004 - Volume 110 - Issue 3 - p 539-549 doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2004.03.022 Buy Metrics Abstract This study tested the separate and combined effects of spouse-assisted pain coping skills training (SA-CST) and exercise training (ET) in a sample of patients having persistent osteoarthritic knee pain. Seventy-two married osteoarthritis (OA) patients with persistent knee pain and their spouses were randomly assigned to: SA-CST alone, SA-CST plus ET, ET alone, or standard care (SC). Patients in SA-CST alone, together with their spouses, attended 12 weekly, 2-h group sessions for training in pain coping and couples skills. Patients in SA-CST+ET received spouse-assisted coping skills training and attended 12-weeks supervised ET. Patients in the ET alone condition received just an exercise program. Data analyses revealed: (1) physical fitness and strength: the SA-CST+ET and ET alone groups had significant improvements in physical fitness compared to SA-CST alone and patients in SA-CST+ET and ET alone had significant improvements in leg flexion and extension compared to SA-CST alone and SC, (2) pain coping: patients in SA-CST+ET and SA-CST alone groups had significant improvements in coping attempts compared to ET alone or SC and spouses in SA-CST+ET rated their partners as showing significant improvements in coping attempts compared to ET alone or SC, and (3) self-efficacy: patients in SA-CST+ET reported significant improvements in self-efficacy and their spouses rated them as showing significant improvements in self-efficacy compared to ET alone or SC. Patients receiving SA-CST+ET who showed increased self-efficacy were more likely to have improvements in psychological disability. An intervention that combines spouse-assisted coping skills training and exercise training can improve physical fitness, strength, pain coping, and self-efficacy in patients suffering from pain due to osteoarthritis. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.