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The role of cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain in adolescents

Journal title
PM & R : the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation
Publication year
Zagustin, T. K.

Chronic pain is frequently experienced in adolescents; it affects functionality and requires interventions to decrease the impairments caused by pain. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been analyzed in numerous studies that evaluated its effects on reducing the different types of chronic pain in children and adolescents. Interestingly, the outcome of CBT was initially focused on pain intensity, but, because there is no correspondence between children’s pain intensity and level of disability, the ability to participate in school and social and recreational activities have been the primary focus of recent studies. There are innovative methods of CBT (such as the third generation of CBT) with and without the use of technology that facilitates the availability of this psychological treatment to adolescents with chronic pain, optimizing its accessibility and comprehensiveness, and maintaining its effectiveness. In the future, specific types of CBT could be specific to the diagnosis of chronic pain in the adolescent, sociodemographics, and other unique features. Parents of children with chronic pain are usually included in these programs, either as coaches in the intervention or as recipients of psychological therapies (including CBT) to optimize benefits. CBT has no adverse effect on chronic pain in adolescents, and there is no literature that makes reference to the effectiveness of CBT in preventing chronic pain in adolescents. A review of the role of CBT in chronic pain in adolescents via a PubMed database search was performed to identify the role of CBT in the management of chronic pain in adolescents.

Research abstracts