Development of a Group Intervention to Improve School Functioning in Adolescents with Chronic Pain and Depressive Symptoms: A Study of Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy

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Objective To establish feasibility and preliminary efficacy of “Coping with Pain in School” (CPS), an intervention to improve school functioning in adolescents with chronic pain and depressive symptoms. Methods Forty adolescents and parents participated in this uncontrolled trial. Participants completed measures of pain severity, depression, and school attendance at baseline and one month after participating in a manualized group intervention. Several other indicators of school functioning were explored. Results CPS was generally acceptable and satisfying to families and feasible to implement but participation was low. Post-treatment analyses suggest that pain, some dimensions of depression, and school attendance improved after treatment.  Conclusions CPS is feasible and holds promise in terms of its effects on pain and school attendance. Addressing enrollment challenges, refining the role of depression and its treatment, and further developing treatments with a school-functioning focus for adolescents with chronic pain are key areas for continued research.

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