Research Updates

Q: Are psychosocial interventions effective treatments for chronic pain?

Gabrielle Lis

A: CBT, ACT and mindfulness therapies can help people remain active and cope with chronic pain, but do not cure it. Other psychosocial interventions are not supported by research, although this may change as more evidence emerges.

The term “chronic pain” refers to pain that lasts for at least three months, often outlasting the condition, event or damage that caused the pain to begin with. In fact, experts now consider chronic pain to be a condition in and of itself, separate from the original source of pain, probably involving changes to the nervous system. Chronic pain is both common and costly. In 2007, Access Economics estimated that around 3.2 millio...

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