Integrated cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain: An open-labeled prospective single-arm trial.


Taguchi K(1)(2), Numata N(2), Takanashi R(2), Takemura R(3), Yoshida T(2), Kutsuzawa K(1), Yoshimura K(4), Shimizu E(1)(2)(5).
Author information:
(1)Department of Cognitive Behavioral Physiology, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine.
(2)Research Center for Child Mental Development, Chiba University, Chiba.
(3)Clinical and Translational Research Center, Keio University Hospital, Tokyo.
(4)Health Care Management Center, Chiba University Hospital.
(5)Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center, Chiba University Hospital, Chiba, Japan.


BACKGROUND: We aimed to examine the feasibility of our newly-developed, integrated, and high-intensity individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) protocol for treatment-resistant chronic pain. METHODS: We conducted an open-labeled prospective single-arm trial for patients aged 18 years and above, suffering from chronic pain, and diagnosed with somatic symptom disorder with predominant pain. We provided 16 weekly sessions of CBT, each lasting for 50 minutes, which included 4 new strategies: attention shift, memory work, mental practice, and video feedback. For comparison, the study had a pre-test post-test design. The primary outcome was the change from baseline (week 1) to 16, as indicated by the Numerical Rating Scale and Pain Catastrophizing Scale. In addition, we evaluated depression, anxiety, disability, and quality of life as secondary outcomes. RESULTS: Sixteen patients with chronic pain underwent our CBT program. Though there was no reduction in pain intensity, catastrophic cognition showed statistically significant improvement with a large effect size. Depression, anxiety, and disability demonstrated statistically significant improvements, with small to moderate effect sizes. No adverse events were reported. CONCLUSION: Our newly integrated CBT program for chronic pain may improve catastrophic cognition, depression, anxiety, and disability. Large-scale randomized controlled studies are necessary to investigate the program's effectiveness in the future.