Targeting acceptance, mindfulness, and value-based action in chronic pain: Findings of two preliminary trials of an . . . .

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APA Citation: 

Vowles, K. E., Wetherell, J. L., & Sorrell, J. T. (2009). Targeting acceptance, mindfulness, and values-based action in chronic pain: Findings of two preliminary trials of an outpatient group-based intervention. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 16, 49-58.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Chronic Pain; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Treatment Outcome; Group Treatment

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for chronic pain is effective, although a number of issues in need of clarification remain, including the processes by which CBT works, the role of cognitive changes in the achievement of outcomes, and the formulation of a coherent theoretical model. Recent developments in psychology have attempted to address these issues by focusing specifically on processes of acceptance, present-focused awareness (e.g., mindfulness), and values-based action. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), perhaps the most widely researched of these developing approaches. Initial evidence suggests that ACT-consistent treatments for chronic pain are effective, although there is a need to study treatment in more traditional pain management settings, where treatment is generally time-limited, unidisciplinary, and outpatient. Data from two pilot studies are presented. Results support the feasibility of treatment and suggest that effectiveness rates compare favorably with more established forms of treatment, CBT in this case. Although these data are preliminary, they set a foundation upon which more intensive evaluations can take place.

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