MONDAY, Feb. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic pain, literacy-adapted group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and group pain education (EDU) improve pain and physical function compared with usual care, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Beverly E. Thorn, Ph.D., from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial to examine the efficacy of literacy-adapted and simplified group CBT versus EDU versus usual care among 290 low-income adults aged 19 to 71 years with mixed chronic pain. Both interventions were delivered in 10 weekly 90-minute sessions.
The researchers found that, compared to participants receiving usual care, CBT and EDU participants had larger decreases in pain intensity scores between baseline and post-treatment (estimated differences in change scores: CBT, −0.80; EDU, −0.57). Treatment gains were not maintained in the CBT group at six-month follow-up, but they were still observed in the EDU group. Participants in the CBT and EDU interventions had greater post-treatment improvement with regard to physical function than those receiving usual care; this was maintained at six-month follow-up. There was no difference in changes in depression between either the CBT or EDU group and the usual care group.
"Simplified group CBT and EDU interventions delivered at low-income clinics significantly improved pain and physical function compared with usual care," the authors write.