This study empirically examined MBCT for the treatment of headache pain. Results indicated that MBCT is a feasible, tolerable, acceptable, and potentially efficacious intervention for patients with headache pain. This study provides a research base for future RCTs comparing MBCT to attention control, and future comparative effectiveness studies of MBCT and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Chronic pain is common, and the available treatments do not provide adequate relief for most patients. Neuromodulatory interventions that modify brain processes underlying the experience of pain have the potential to provide substantial relief for some of these patients. The purpose of this Review is to summarize the state of knowledge regarding the efficacy and mechanisms of noninvasive neuromodulatory treatments for chronic pain. The findings provide support for the efficacy and positive side-effect profile of hypnosis, and limited evidence for the potential efficacy of meditation training, noninvasive electrical stimulation procedures, and neurofeedback procedures. Mechanisms research indicates that hypnosis influences multiple neurophysiological processes involved in the experience of pain. Evidence also indicates that mindfulness meditation has both immediate and long-term effects on cortical structures and activity involved in attention, emotional responding and pain. Less is known about the mechanisms of other neuromodulatory treatments. On the basis of the data discussed in this Review, training in the use of self-hypnosis might be considered a viable ‘first-line’ approach to treat chronic pain. More-definitive research regarding the benefits and costs of meditation training, noninvasive brain stimulation and neurofeedback is needed before these treatments can be recommended for the treatment of chronic pain.
Chronic pain is a common and costly experience. Cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) are efficacious for an array of chronic pain conditions. However, the literature is based primarily on urban (white) samples. It is unknown whether CBT works in low-socioeconomic (SES), minority and non-minority groups. To address this question, we conducted a Randomized Controlled Trial within a low-SES, rural chronic pain population. Specifically, we examined the feasibility, tolerability, acceptability, and efficacy of group CBT compared to a group education intervention (EDU). We hypothesized that while both interventions would elicit short- and long-term improvement across pain-related outcomes, the cognitively-focused CBT protocol would uniquely influence pain catastrophizing. Mixed design ANOVAs were conducted on the sample of eligible participants who did not commence treatment (N=26), the intent-to-treat sample (ITT; N=83), and on the completer sample (N=61). Factors associated with treatment completion were examined. Results indicated significantly more drop-outs occurred in CBT. ITT analyses showed that participants in both conditions reported significant improvement across pain-related outcomes, and a nonsignificant trend was found for depressed mood to improve more in CBT than EDU. Results of the completer analyses produced a similar pattern of findings; however, CBT produced greater gains on cognitive and affect variables than EDU. Treatment gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up (N=54). Clinical significance of the findings and the number of treatment responders is reported. Overall, these findings indicate CBT and EDU are viable treatment options in low-SES, minority and non-minority groups. Further research should target disseminating and sustaining psychosocial treatment options within underserved populations.
Objective The current Phase 2b study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness‐based cognitive therapy for migraine (MBCT‐M) to reduce migraine‐related disability in people with migraine. Background Mindfulness‐based interventions represent a promising avenue to investigate effects in people with migraine. MBCT teaches mindfulness meditation and cognitive‐behavioral skills and directly applies these skills to address disease‐related cognitions. Methods Participants with migraine (6‐30 headache days/month) were recruited from neurology office referrals and local and online advertisements in the broader New York City area. During the 30‐day baseline period, all participants completed a daily headache diary. Participants who met inclusion and exclusion criteria were randomized in a parallel design, stratified by chronic migraine status, to receive either 8 weekly individual MBCT‐M sessions or 8 weeks of waitlist/treatment as usual (WL/TAU). All participants completed surveys including primary outcome evaluations at Months 0, 1, 2, and 4. All participants completed a headache diary during the 30‐day posttreatment evaluation period. Primary outcomes were the change from Month 0 to Month 4 in the headache disability inventory (HDI) and the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) (total score ≥ 21 indicating severe disability); secondary outcomes (headache days/30 days, average headache attack pain intensity, and attack‐level migraine‐related disability [Migraine Disability Index (MIDI)]) were derived from the daily headache diary. Results Sixty participants were randomized to receive MBCT‐M (n = 31) or WL/TAU (n = 29). Participants (M age = 40.1, SD = 11.7) were predominantly White (n = 49/60; 81.7%) and Non‐Hispanic (N = 50/60; 83.3%) women (n = 55/60; 91.7%) with a graduate degree (n = 35/60; 55.0%) who were working full‐time (n = 38/60; 63.3%). At baseline, the average HDI score (51.4, SD = 19.0) indicated a moderate level of disability and the majority of participants (50/60, 83.3%) fell in the “Severe Disability” range in the MIDAS. Participants recorded an average of 16.0 (SD = 5.9) headache days/30 days, with an average headache attack pain intensity of 1.7 on a 4‐point scale (SD = 0.3), indicating moderate intensity. Average levels of daily disability reported on the MIDI were 3.1/10 (SD = 1.8). For the HDI, mean scores decreased more from Month 0 to Month 4 in the MBCT‐M group (−14.3) than the waitlist/treatment as an usual group (−0.2; P < .001). For the MIDAS, the group*month interaction was not significant when accounting for the divided alpha, P = .027; across all participants in both groups, the estimated proportion of participants falling in the “Severe Disability” category fell significantly from 88.3% at Month 0 to 66.7% at Month 4, P < .001. For diary‐reported headache days/30 days an average headache attack pain intensity, neither the group*month interaction (Ps = .773 and .888, respectively) nor the time effect (Ps = .059 and .428, respectively) was significant. Mean MIDI scores decreased in the ...
Rural residency and low socioeconomic status (SES) are associated with increased likelihood of chronic pain. Other demographics are also differentially associated with the experience of pain. This study examines the relations between demographic and pain-related variables in a virtually unstudied population of rural Alabama chronic pain patients. One-hundred-and-fifteen patients completed validated measures of pain catastrophizing, depression, pain intensity, pain interference, perceived disability, and life satisfaction. Average age of study participants was 52-years, 79% were female, 74% were African-American, 72% reported annual income between 00,000-12,999, and 61% were unemployed. Although average years of reported education was 12.26, reading level percentile (primary literacy indicant) was 17.33. Cross-sectional multivariate and univariate analyses were conducted to examine associations among demographic and psychosocial variables in relation to various pre-treatment pain-related variables. The mediating role of pain catastrophizing and depression was investigated. Results indicate that race was significantly associated with pain intensity and pain interference, such that African-Americans reported higher scores than White-Americans. Pain catastrophizing was uniquely associated with pain intensity, pain interference, and perceived disability; depression was uniquely associated with pain interference, and life satisfaction. Pain catastrophizing mediated the relation between primary literacy and pain intensity; age effects were differentially mediated by either pain catastrophizing or depression. These analyses provide insight into the specific demographic and psychosocial factors associated with chronic pain in a low-literacy, low-SES rural population.
Objective This pilot trial compared the feasibility, tolerability, acceptability, and effects of group-delivered mindfulness meditation (MM), cognitive therapy (CT), and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for chronic low back pain (CLBP). Setting University of Queensland Psychology Clinic. Subjects Participants were N = 69 (intent-to-treat [ITT] sample) adults with CLBP. Design A pilot, assessor-blinded randomized controlled trial. Methods Participants were randomized to treatments. The primary outcome was pain interference; secondary outcomes were pain intensity, physical function, depression, and opioid medication use. The primary study end point was post-treatment; maintenance of gains was evaluated at three- and six-month follow-up. Results Ratings of acceptability, and ratios of dropout and attendance showed that MBCT was acceptable, feasible, and well tolerated, with similar results found across conditions. For the ITT sample, large improvements in post-treatment scores for pain interference, pain intensity, physical function, and depression were found (P < 0.001), with no significant between-group differences. Analysis of the follow-up data (N = 43), however, revealed that MBCT participants improved significantly more than MM participants on pain interference, physical function, and depression. The CT group improved more than MM in physical function. The MBCT and CT groups did not differ significantly on any measures. Conclusions This is the first study to examine MBCT for CLBP management. The findings show that MBCT is a feasible, tolerable, acceptable, and potentially efficacious treatment option for CLBP. Further, MBCT, and possibly CT, could have sustained benefits that exceed MM on some important CLBP outcomes. A future definitive randomized controlled trial is needed to evaluate these treatments and their differences.
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