Gutierrez et al., 2004

Printer-friendly version

Gutierrez, O., Luciano, M. C., Rodríguez. M., & Fink. B. (2004). Comparison between an Acceptance-based and a Cognitive-Control-Based Protocol for coping with pain. Behavior Therapy, 35, 767-783.


This study compares specific acceptance-based strategies and cognitive-control-based strategies for coping with experimentally induced pain. Forty participants were randomly assigned to an acceptance-based protocol (ACT), the goal of which was to disconnect pain-related thoughts and feelings from literal actions, or to a control-based protocol (CONT) that focused on changing or controlling pain-related thoughts and feelings. Participants took part in a nonsense-syllables-matching task that involved successive exposures to increasingly painful shocks. In both conditions, the task involved an overall value-oriented context that encouraged the participants to continue with the task despite the exposure to pain. At times throughout the task, participants were asked to choose to continue with the task and be shocked or stop the task and avoid being shocked. Each choice had specific costs and benefits. Participants performed the task twice, both before and after receiving the assigned experimental protocol. Two measures were obtained at pre- and post-intervention: tolerance of the shocks and self-reports of pain. ACT participants showed significantly higher tolerance to pain and lower believability of experienced pain compared to the CONT condition. Conceptual and clinical implications are discussed.

Protocol included below

This page contains attachments restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.