Chronic Pain and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: An Integrative Review

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Abstract

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used to treat chronic pain; however, more information is needed about what are the most efficacious dose and delivery methods. The aims of this review were to determine (a) which CBT doses, delivery methods, strategies, and follow-up periods have been explored in recent intervention studies of individuals with chronic pain and (b) whether the outcomes described in the selected studies were consistent with recommendations by the Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials. The CINAHL, EMBASE, PubMed, PsycInfo, and SCOPUS databases were searched for randomized controlled trials published from 2009 to 2015 testing CBT for adults with chronic pain. Thirty-five studies were included in this review. Results revealed that CBT reduced pain intensity in 43% of trials, the efficacy of online and in-person formats were comparable, and military veterans and individuals with cancer-related chronic pain were understudied.

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