Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Patient Relat Outcome Meas. 2018 Jan 19;9:49-64. doi: 10.2147/PROM.S121251. eCollection 2018.

Psychological treatments for the management of postsurgical pain: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

Author information

1
Pain Research Unit, Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Toronto General Hospital.
2
Department of Psychology, York University.
3
Library and Information Services, University Health Network.
4
Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

Background:

Inadequately managed pain is a risk factor for chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP), a growing public health challenge. Multidisciplinary pain-management programs with psychological approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness-based psychotherapy, have shown efficacy as treatments for chronic pain, and show promise as timely interventions in the pre/perioperative periods for the management of PSP. We reviewed the literature to identify randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of these psychotherapy approaches on pain-related surgical outcomes.

Materials and methods:

We searched Medline, Medline-In-Process, Embase and Embase Classic, and PsycInfo to identify studies meeting our search criteria. After title and abstract review, selected articles were rated for risk of bias.

Results:

Six papers based on five trials (four back surgery, one cardiac surgery) met our inclusion criteria. Four papers employed CBT and two CBT-physiotherapy variant; no ACT or mindfulness-based studies were identified. Considerable heterogeneity was observed in the timing and delivery of psychological interventions and length of follow-up (1 week to 2-3 years). Whereas pain-intensity reporting varied widely, pain disability was reported using consistent methods across papers. The majority of papers (four of six) reported reduced pain intensity, and all relevant papers (five of five) found improvements in pain disability. General limitations included lack of large-scale data and difficulties with blinding.

Conclusion:

This systematic review provides preliminary evidence that CBT-based psychological interventions reduce PSP intensity and disability. Future research should further clarify the efficacy and optimal delivery of CBT and newer psychological approaches to PSP.

KEYWORDS:

CBT; acute pain; chronic pain; chronic postsurgical pain; multidisciplinary pain management; postsurgical pain

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure Joel Katz is supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology at York University. Hance Clarke is supported by a Merit Award from the Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto. The authors report no other conflicts of interest in this work.

Publication type

Publication type

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Dove Medical Press Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center