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Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2009 Dec;11(6):451-60.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for sleep abnormalities of chronic pain patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychology (PO 77), Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, de Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE58AF, United Kingdom.


Chronic pain and insomnia often occur simultaneously, with the vast majority of chronic pain patients complaining of interrupted or poor quality sleep. The need to improve sleep in these patients is clear, given increasing evidence that sleep disturbance is associated with heightened pain sensitivity and elevated disability. This article evaluates the efficacy of pain management programs (PMPs) based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and CBT for primary insomnia (CBT-I) in treating pain-related insomnia. Although PMPs effectively enhance pain management skills in patients, they do not adequately address insomnia. CBT-I has demonstrated strong efficacy in treating pain-related insomnia, but sleep improvement is not followed by pain reduction. As both CBT approaches involve strengths and limitations, a hybrid form of treatment is needed that simultaneously addresses pain and sleep.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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