Stress Reduction and Cognitive Therapy Have Long Lasting Effect on Low Back Pain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dan Cherkin PhD Emeritus Senior Investigator Group Health Research Institute Seattle, WA 98101

Dr. Dan Cherkin

Dan Cherkin PhD
Emeritus Senior Investigator
Group Health Research Institute
Seattle, WA 98101

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We previously reported the results of a randomized trial examining the effectiveness of Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for persons with chronic low back pain (Cherkin et al, JAMA, March 22, 2016).

The current report examines whether the relative effectiveness of these approaches compared with usual care that we found after one year were still evident after two years. We found that there was little decrease in the magnitude of the effects of both MBSR and CBT between one and two years, but the two-year outcomes were statistically significant only for chronic low back pain. As previously reported for outcomes up to one year, there were no significant differences in outcomes between CBT and MBSR.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Treatments for chronic back pain that focus on changing how persons with pain think about and react to their pain appear to be as effective as physical treatments that have been found effective. Our results suggest that the effects of such “mind-focused” treatments may last longer than those of physical treatments.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: A study of the effects on patient outcomes of fully integrating Mindfulness-based stress reduction and/or into primary are for back pain would be useful.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Patients and clinicians with chronic back pain should consider “mind-focused” treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and MBSR as reasonable treatment options. They are safer than some commonly used treatments (e.g., opioids) and appear to have longer lasting effects.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Cherkin DC, Anderson ML, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Hansen KE, Turner JA. Two-Year Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. JAMA. 2017;317(6):642-644. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.17814

Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Anderson ML, Hawkes RJ, Hansen KE, Turner JA. Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Usual Care on Back Pain and Functional Limitations in Adults With Chronic Low Back PainA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2016;315(12):1240-1249. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.2323

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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