Acceptance and commitment therapy for chronic pain

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APA Citation: 

Yang, S. Y., & McCracken, L. M. (2014). Acceptance and commitment therapy for chronic pain. Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management, 21(3), 134-144.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Conceptual
Publication Type: 
ACT, Chronic Pain

Objective: To describe Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and its application in the treatment of chronic pain. Methods: Review of the theoretical and clinical literature and presentation of a case example. Results: General cognitive behavioral approaches for chronic pain have a consistent and large evidence base supporting their benefits. Even so, these treatments continue to develop with the aim to improve. One example of a relatively new development within the cognitive behavioral approaches is ACT, a treatment that focuses on increasing psychological flexibility. Here we describe ACT and the therapeutic model on which it is based, present its distinguishing features, and summarize the evidence for it as a treatment for chronic pain. We also discuss such issues as dissemination, implementation, and training. Conclusion: There are now 7 randomized controlled trials, a number of innovative uncontrolled trials, and at least 1 systematic review that support the clinical efficacy and effectiveness of ACT for chronic pain. Further research and development of this approach is underway.