Which Adolescents Can Get Pain Relief from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We found that both adolescent age and parent emotional distress predicted treatment efficacy up to one year after treatment, such that adolescents who were younger and those whose parents expressed less distress were more likely to benefit from this form of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Not all children and adolescents benefit from psychological treatment for chronic pain, and it is important for us to identify characteristics of patients that predict treatment benefit. We can use this information to target patients for specific treatments. We can also consider how to develop tailored treatments for patients based on risk factors.

Providers should recognize that younger adolescents (11-14 years) may be more likely to benefit from internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy, which includes a significant parental component. In addition, parent distress is an important determinant of treatment benefit and as such, providers should identify and address parental distress.

PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: It will be important for researchers in pediatric chronic pain to continue to determine gaps in effective treatment, identifying for whom current psychological treatments are more (or less) beneficial. The current study suggests that future research should aim to adapt cognitive-behavioral therapy for older, more independent adolescents, and should address parents’ own distress in addition to teaching them strategies for responding to their child’s pain.

We have no disclosures to report.


J Pain. 2019 Oct 10. pii: S1526-5900(19)30823-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2019.10.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Moderators of internet-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy for adolescents with chronic pain: Who benefits from treatment at long-term follow-up?

Murray C1, Vega R2, Loren D3, Palermo TM4.


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Last Updated on November 13, 2019 by PainRelief.com