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J Sex Med. 2019 Jun;16(6):909-923. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.04.002. Epub 2019 May 15.

A Comparison of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Provoked Vestibulodynia in a Hospital Clinic Setting.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Electronic address: Lori.Brotto@vch.ca.
2
Department of Psychology, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Chronic and distressing genito-pelvic pain associated with vaginal penetration is most frequently due to provoked vestibulodynia (PVD). Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) significantly reduces genital pain intensity and improves psychological and sexual well-being. In general chronic pain populations, mindfulness-based approaches may be as effective for improving pain intensity as CBT.

AIM:

To compare mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) with CBT in the treatment of PVD.

METHODS:

To ensure power of 0.95 to find medium effect size or larger in this longitudinal design, we enrolled 130 participants. Of these, 63 were assigned to CBT (mean age 31.2 years), and 67 to MBCT (mean age 33.7 years). Data from all participants who completed baseline measures were analyzed, with intent-to-treat analyses controlling for years since diagnosis.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Our primary outcome was self-reported pain during vaginal penetration at immediate post-treatment and at 6 months' follow-up. Secondary endpoints included pain ratings with a vulvalgesiometer, pain catastrophizing, pain hypervigilance, pain acceptance, sexual function, and sexual distress.

RESULTS:

There was a significant interaction between group and time for self-reported pain, such that improvements with MBCT were greater than those with CBT. For all other endpoints, both groups led to similar significant improvements, and benefits were maintained at 6 months.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Mindfulness is a promising approach to improving self-reported pain from vaginal penetration and is as effective as CBT for several psychological endpoints.

STRENGTH & LIMITATIONS:

A strength of the present study was the robust sample size (n = 130 women) who had received confirmed clinical diagnoses of PVD.

CONCLUSION:

The present study showed mindfulness to be as effective for most pain- and sexuality-related endpoints in the treatment of PVD. Brotto LA, Bergeron S, Zdaniuk B, et al. A Comparison of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Provoked Vestibulodynia in a Hospital Clinic Setting. J Sex Med 2019;16:909-923.

KEYWORDS:

Clinical Trial; Cognitive Behavior Therapy; Genital Pain; Mindfulness; Provoked Vestibulodynia

PMID:
31103481
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.04.002

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