How effective is medication combined with behavioral intervention for the treatment of chronic pain syndrome (CPS)?

Updated: Jan 14, 2020
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Kroenke et al found that a combination of pharmacologic and behavioral intervention were more effective than conventional therapy in the treatment of patients suffering from depression and chronic pain. [4] Patients (n=250) with low back, hip, or knee pain for 3 months or longer who also had moderate depression were randomly assigned to the combination therapy or usual care. Combination therapy consisted of optimized antidepressant therapy (12wk), followed by intervention for pain in a self-management phase (12wk), and a continuation phase (6 mo).

Depression improved in 37.4% of the combination therapy group (ie, 50% or greater reduction in depression), but in only 16.5% of the usual-care group (16.5%). Pain severity was reduced by 30% or more in 41.5% of the combination group, compared with 17.3% of the usual-care group.

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