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Papers: 12 Sep 2020 - 18 Sep 2020


Human Studies

2020 Sep

Am Psychol



Pain rehabilitation’s dual power: Treatment for chronic pain and prevention of opioid-related risks.


Crouch TB, Wedin S, Kilpatrick RL, Christon L, Balliet W, Borckardt J, Barth K
Am Psychol. 2020 Sep; 75(6):825-839.
PMID: 32915026.


The purpose of this article is to provide a data-driven exploration of an interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program (PRP) as a viable option for addressing the dual crises of chronic pain and opioid use. Psychologists are crucial providers in the PRP, in both intervention and leadership roles. There is well-established literature supporting pain rehabilitation as an effective treatment for chronic pain and functioning, but there are few studies examining the effects of pain rehabilitation on opioid misuse risk. We evaluated data from 60 patients with diverse chronic pain conditions who completed an interdisciplinary PRP to evaluate changes in pain, functioning (self-report and objective physical measure), psychological symptoms, and health-related quality of life. To evaluate the effect of pain rehabilitation on opioid-related risks, we examined opioid use and opioid misuse behaviors (measured by the Current Opioid Misuse Measure; COMM) pre- and posttreatment. Results demonstrated statistically significant improvements in all outcomes, with medium effect sizes for pain severity and large effect sizes for functioning, psychological symptoms, and emotional quality of life. Fifty-eight percent of patients were on opioid medications at entry compared with 15% at discharge. Among patients who entered on opioids, mean COMM scores were significantly reduced from above the cutoff for misuse risk (M = 13.57) to below the cutoff (M = 5.86). Overall, this study provided strong support for pain rehabilitation as an effective treatment for chronic pain and related suffering, while also providing a prevention-based opportunity for reducing opioid-related risk. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).