Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy Provided Pain Relief from Vulvar Pain

PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?

Response: For women with provoked vestibulodynia, cognitive-behavioral couple therapy yielded significantly more improvements than lidocaine in pain unpleasantness at 6-month follow-up, pain anxiety and pain catastrophizing at post-treatment and 6-month follow-up, and sexual distress at post-treatment, and resulted in better treatment satisfaction and global sexuality improvements at both time points. Partners significantly improved in their sexual function, sexual distress, and pain catastrophizing from pre- to post-treatment and pre-treatment to 6-month follow-up, with no significant group differences. Partners in the CBCT condition reported significantly greater treatment satisfaction at both time points, and greater sexuality improvements at post-treatment.

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

Response: Cognitive-behavioral couple therapy yielded better outcomes on more dimensions of provoked vestibulodynia than lidocaine. Findings showed that CBCT is an efficacious treatment for women with PVD and that involving partners may be beneficial.

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

Response:  Future studies should test whether CBCT can be delivered as efficaciously via an online format, in order to access under-served populations.

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Citation:

Bergeron S, Vaillancourt-Morel MP, Corsini-Munt S, Steben M, Delisle I, Mayrand MH, Rosen NO. Cognitive-behavioral couple therapy versus lidocaine for provoked vestibulodynia: A randomized clinical trial. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2021 Apr;89(4):316-326. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000631. PMID: 34014693.

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