Results of a recent study published last month in Pain Research Management provides further validation of the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in conjunction with exercise in the management of chronic pain. A team from Bridgepoint Health and the University of Toronto examined patient outcomes from a pain self-management program administered at Bridgeport Health, a rehabilitation hospital in Toronto between 2002 and 2011. Over the duration of the study 36 pain management groups were convened, enrolling 311 participants. 214 of these completed their programs. The study used pre-and post-treatment questionnaires to measure changes in intensity of pain, depression, anxiety, pain disability, and general health functions.
Program participants had all experienced chronic pain for longer than 6 months, and had realized no improvement in their pain levels from other treatment approaches. The researchers recorded statistically significant improvements in all outcome measures, with the exception of nonsignificant changes in some subscales of general health, among patients who completed the program. The study report noted that "These results are consistent with previously reported benefits of CBT for chronic pain patients and in programs that combine CBT with physical exercise (PE). While CBT targets the psychosocial components of chronic pain, PE targets the biological component by overcoming physical deconditioning." A news story about the conclusions, with link to the journal article, may be found here.
Posted on December 8, 2016