The Impact of a Cognitive Behavioral Pain Management Program on Sleep in Patients with Chronic Pain: Results of a Pilot Study

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Abstract

Objective.

To determine the impact of a cognitive behavioral pain management program on sleep in patients with chronic pain.

Design.

Prospective nonrandomized controlled pilot study with evaluations at baseline and 12 weeks

Setting.

Out-patient multidisciplinary cognitive behavioral pain management program in a university teaching hospital

Subjects.

Patients with chronic pain who fulfilled the criteria for participation in a cognitive behavioral pain management program.

Methods.

Patients assigned to the intervention group (n = 24) completed a 4 week cognitive behavioral pain management program, and were compared with a waiting list control group (n = 22). Assessments for both groups occurred at baseline and two months post cognitive behavioral pain management program. Outcome measures included self-report (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) and objective (actigraphy) sleep measures, pain and quality of life measures.

Results.

Both groups were comparable at baseline, and all had sleep disturbance. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index correlated with only two of the seven objective sleep measures (fragmentation indexr= 0.34,P= 0.02, and sleep efficiency percentager= −0.31,P= 0.04). There was a large treatment effect for cognitive behavioral pain management program group in mean number of wake bouts (d= 0.76), where a significant group*time interaction was also found (P= 0.016), showing that the CBT-PMP group improved significantly more than controls in this sleep variable.

Conclusions.

Patients attending a cognitive behavioral pain management program have high prevalence of sleep disturbance, and actigraphy technology was well tolerated by the patients. Preliminary analysis of the impact of a cognitive behavioral pain management program on sleep is promising, and warrants further investigation.

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