How effective is psychophysiologic therapy for chronic pain syndrome (CPS)?

Updated: Jan 14, 2020
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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A randomized, controlled study by Wetherell et al determined that acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are effective treatments for chronic pain, positively affecting mood and pain interference. However, ACT may be more beneficial, since patients gave this treatment a higher satisfaction rating than CBT. [34]

In another randomized, controlled evaluation, researchers tested the efficacy of an online chronic pain management program using 305 adult participants with chronic pain. While 162 individuals used the program unsupervised for about 6 weeks, the other 143 people were assigned to the wait-listed control group with treatment as usual. A detailed assessment was conducted before the study and after about 7 and 14 weeks. Results indicated that those using the online program had significant decreases in pain severity, pain-related interference and emotional burden, perceived disability catastrophizing, and pain-induced fear. In addition, participants found that the online program lessened their depression, anxiety, and stress and gave them more information about chronic pain management. [35]

A study by O’Sullivan et al indicated that cognitive functional therapy can be effective in the management of nonspecific chronic low back pain. Patients in the study underwent approximately eight cognitive functional therapy treatments, with 1-year posttherapy follow-up. The subjects demonstrated significant improvements in functional disability and pain immediately after completing treatment and maintained these gains over the follow-up period. [36]

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