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Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for People With Chronic Pain: Distinctions, Outcomes, and Innovations

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This article reviews the cognitive-behavioral (CB) perspective on chronic pain and discusses the distinction between this perspective and cognitive and behavioral techniques. We describe the general efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of people with chronic pain along with some of the limitations of published outcome studies. We discuss advances in moderation and mediation of treatment outcomes. Lastly, we discuss the need for research that takes into account growing interest in evidence-based medicine, methods that address responders and nonresponders, individual trajectories, how we might advance and refine CBT, and strategies related to relapse prevention, maintenance, and adherence enhancement taking advantage of evolving technological methods of service delivery. We provide recommendations on how to approach studies of CBT efficacy as a function of better understanding of patient characteristics and context. We advocate for the potential of the CB perspective for all healthcare providers regardless of discipline or training.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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