Updated Cochrane review.
Benefits of CBT emerged almost entirely from comparisons with treatment as usual/waiting list, not with active controls. CBT but not behaviour therapy has weak effects in improving pain, but only immediately post-treatment and when compared with treatment as usual/waiting list. CBT but not behaviour therapy has small effects on disability associated with chronic pain, with some maintenance at six months. CBT is effective in altering mood and catastrophising outcomes, when compared with treatment as usual/waiting list, with some evidence that this is maintained at six months. Behaviour therapy has no effects on mood, but showed an effect on catastrophising immediately post-treatment. CBT is a useful approach to the management of chronic pain. There is no need for more general RCTs reporting group means: rather, different types of studies and analyses are needed to identify which components of CBT work for which type of patient on which outcome/s, and to try to understand why.
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