The Feasibility and Acceptability of Groups for Pain Management in Methadone Maintenance Treatment

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Objectives:Effective and safe pain management interventions in methadone maintenance treatment are needed.Methods:We examined the feasibility (ie, single-session attendance) and acceptability (ie, patient satisfaction and booster session attendance) of cognitive-behavioral therapy–informed groups for pain management—Coping With Pain, Relaxation Training, Group Singing, and Mindful Walking. Pre- and postsession measures were collected.Results:A total of 349 (out of a census of approximately 800) methadone-maintained patients attended at least 1 of the groups. Group satisfaction was high. Booster session attendance was numerically lower in Mindful Walking (14%) than in the other groups (at least 40%). Repeat attendance at Coping With Pain was associated with reduced characteristic pain intensity and depression, whereas repeat attendance at Relaxation Training was associated with decreased anxiety.Conclusions:Coping With Pain, Relaxation Training, and Group Singing are transportable, affordable, adaptable, and tolerated well by patients with pain and show promise as components of a multimodal pain management approach in methadone maintenance treatment.

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