We conducted a randomised study of 40 patients with chronic pelvic pain. The patients had undergone a total of 72 abdominal operations, including exploratory operations, hysterectomy and extirpation of adnexa, without satisfactory effect (1, 8). No specific somatic aetiology could be detected. A physical function test (Standardised Mensendieck Test, SMT) showed the women to vary widely with respect to posture, movement/coordination, gait, sitting posture and respiration, increased tension and reduced elasticity of a number of muscle groups and increased symptoms of mental stress (1, 4). Their condition was diagnosed as persistent somatoform pain disorder (ICD-10 F45.4).
The women were randomised to ordinary gynaecological guidance with or without a weekly session of 60 minutes of somatocognitive therapy for a period of 12 weeks. After treatment, the women in the therapy group had a 41 % higher VAS score and 63 % better respiration score than the women who only received guidance (1). At follow-up a year after the start of therapy, this progress had continued, and the therapy group now had a 53 % better score for pain and an 86 % better score for respiration (8). Their scores for anxiety, depression and mastery (measured by GHQ-30) had also improved. A continued improvement after completion of the therapy can be explained by the fact that the women had now gained new experiences and methods for mastering bodily and cognitive challenges in everyday life, methods that they themselves could apply, independently of the therapist (1, 4).