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A 13-Weeks Mindfulness Based Pain Management Program Improves Psychological Distress in Patients with Chronic Pain Compared with Waiting List Controls

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ABSTRACT
 
BACKGROUND
 
Eradication of pain is seldom an option in chronic pain management. Hence, mindfulness meditation has become popular in pain management.
 
OBJECTIVE
 
This pilot study compared the effect of a 13-weeks cognitive behavioural therapy program with integrated mindfulness meditation (CBTm) in patients with chronic non-malignant pain with a control condition. It was hypothesised that the CBTm program would reduce pain intensity and psychological distress compared to the control condition and that level of mindfulness and acceptance both would be associated with the reduction in pain intensity and psychological distress.
 
METHODS
 
A case-control design was used and data were collected from a convenience sample of 70 patients with chronic non-malignant pain. Fifty patients were consecutively recruited to the CBTm intervention and 20 patients matched waiting list controls. Assessments of clinical pain and psychological distress were performed in both groups at baseline and after 13 weeks.
 
RESULTS
 
The CBTm program reduced depression, anxiety and pain-catastrophizing compared with the control group. Increased level of mindfulness and acceptance were associated with change in psychological distress with the exception of depression, which was only associated with change in level of mindfulness. Surprisingly, changes in level of mindfulness did not correlate with changes in acceptance.
 
CONCLUSIONS
 
The results indicate that different mechanisms are targeted with cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness. The finding that changes in level of mindfulness did not correlate with changes in acceptance may indicate that acceptance is not a strict prerequisite for coping with pain related distress.
 
Full text available here.
 
Andersen TE, Vægter HB. A 13-Weeks Mindfulness Based Pain Management Program Improves Psychological Distress in Patients with Chronic Pain Compared with Waiting List Controls. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2016 Jun 30;12:49-58. eCollection 2016.

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One thought on “A 13-Weeks Mindfulness Based Pain Management Program Improves Psychological Distress in Patients with Chronic Pain Compared with Waiting List Controls”

  1. CarlErikson says:

    As a chronic pain sufferer I use meditation to alleviate a great deal of my pain. It has not been a cure-all but it serves as a good base and allows me to use less medication. I use guided meditation mp3s from http://www.lightunlimitedpublishing.com. They help me to stay focused during the meditation. I also find that practice is essential. It may take a bit longer than taking a pill but it is well worth the clarity of mind.

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