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Papers: 24 Apr 2021 - 30 Apr 2021


2021 Apr 20

J Pain

Efficacy of online-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for chronic pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis.


Trindade IA, Guiomar R, Carvalho SA, Duarte J, Lapa T, Menezes P, Nogueira M R, Patrão B, Pinto-Gouveia J, Castilho P
J Pain. 2021 Apr 20.
PMID: 33892153.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been widely tested for chronic pain, with demonstrated efficacy. Nevertheless, although there is meta-analytical evidence on the efficacy of face-to-face ACT, no reviews have been performed on online ACT in this population. The aim of this meta-analysis is to determine the efficacy of online ACT for adults with chronic pain, when compared with controls. PubMed, PsycINFO, CENTRAL, and Web of Knowledge were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of online-delivered ACT for chronic pain. Effects were analysed at post-treatment and follow-up, by calculating standardized mean differences. Online-delivered ACT was generally favoured over controls (5 RCTs, N=746). At post-treatment, medium effects for pain interference and pain acceptance, and small effects for depression and psychological flexibility were found. A medium effect for pain interference, and small effects for pain intensity, depression, anxiety, psychological flexibility, and valued action were found at follow-up. ACT-related effects for pain interference, pain intensity, and anxiety increased from post-treatment to follow-up. Nevertheless, the current findings also highlight the need for more methodologically robust RCTs. Future trials should compare online ACT with active treatments, and use measurement methods with low bias. Perspective: This is the first meta-analytical review on the efficacy of online ACT for people with chronic pain. It comprises 5 RCTs that compared online ACT with active and/or inactive controls. Online ACT was more efficacious than controls regarding pain interference, pain intensity, depression, anxiety, psychological flexibility, and valued action.