I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Mar 2021 - 2 Apr 2021


2021 Apr 01

Curr Pain Headache Rep



CBT and CFT for Chronic Pain.


Hadley G, Novitch MB
Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2021 Apr 01; 25(5):35.
PMID: 33791876.


Chronic pain is a widespread public and physical health crisis, as it is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care and accounts for the largest medical reason for disability in the USA (Glombiewski et al., J Consult Clin Psychol. 86(6):533-545, 2018; Schemer et al., Eur J Pain. 23(3):526-538, 2019). Chronic pain is associated with decreased functional status, opioid dependence and substance abuse disorders, mental health crises, and overall lower perceived quality of life (Korff et al., J Pain. 17(10):1068-1080, 2016). For example, the leading cause of chronic pain and the leading cause of long-term disability is low back pain (LBP) (Bjorck-van Dijken et al. J Rehabil Med. 40:864-9, 2008). Evidence suggests that persistent low back pain (pLBP) is a multidimensional biopsychosocial problem with various contributing factors (Cherkin et al., JAMA. 315(12):1240-1249, 2016). Emotional distress, pain-related fear, and protective movement behaviors are all unhelpful lifestyle factors that previously were more likely to go unaddressed when assessing and treating patient discomfort (Pincus et al., Spine. 38:2118-23, 2013). Those that are not properly assisted with these psychosocial issues are often unlikely to benefit from treatment in the primary care setting and thus are referred to multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation physicians. This itself increases healthcare costs, and treatments can be invasive and have risks of their own. Therefore, less expensive and more accessible management strategies targeting these psychosocial issues should be started to facilitate improvement early. As a biopsychosocial disorder, chronic pain is influenced by a range of factors including lifestyle, mental health status, familial culture, and socioeconomic status. Physicians have moved toward multi-modal pain approaches in order to combat this public health dilemma, ranging from medications with several different mechanisms of action, lifestyle changes, procedural pain control, and psychological interventions (Fashler et al., Pain Res Manag. 2016:5960987, 2016). Part of the rehabilitation process now more and more commonly includes cognitive behavioral and cognitive functional therapy. Cognitive functional therapy (CFT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are both multidimensional psychological approaches to combat the mental portion of difficult pain control. While these therapies are quite different in their approach, they lend to the idea that chronic pain can and should be targeted using coping mechanisms, helping patients understand the pathophysiological process of pain, and altering behavior.