Mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy intervention reduces pain severity and sensitivity in opioid-treated chronic low back pain: Pilot findings from a randomized controlled trial

Aleksandra E. Zgierska, Cindy A. Burzinski, Jennifer Cox, John Kloke, Aaron Stegner, Dane B. Cook, Janice Singles, Shilagh Mirgain, Christopher L. Coe, Miroslav Bačkonja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. To assess benefits of mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)- based intervention for opioid-treated chronic low back pain (CLBP). Design. 26-week parallel-arm pilot randomized controlled trial (Intervention and Usual Care versus Usual Care alone). Setting. Outpatient. Subjects. Adults with CLBP, prescribed ±30mg/day of morphine-equivalent dose (MED) for at least 3 months. Methods. The intervention comprised eight weekly group sessions (meditation and CLBP-specific CBT components) and 30minutes/day, 6 days/week of athome practice. Outcome measures were collected at baseline, 8, and 26 weeks: primary-pain severity (Brief Pain Inventory) and function/disability (Oswestry Disability Index); secondary-pain acceptance, opioid dose, pain sensitivity to thermal stimuli, and serum pain-sensitive biomarkers (Interferon-γ; Tumor Necrosis Factor-α; Interleukins 1β and 6; C-reactive Protein). Results. Thirty-five (21 experimental, 14 control) participants were enrolled and completed the study. They were 51.8 6 9.7 years old, 80% female, with severe CLBP-related disability (66.7 6 11.4), moderate pain severity (5.8 6 1.4), and taking 148.3 6 129.2mg/day of MED. Results of the intention-to-treat analysis showed that, compared with controls, the meditation-CBT group reduced pain severity ratings during the study (P 5 0.045), with between-group difference in score change reaching 1 point at 26 weeks (95% Confidence Interval: 0.2,1.9; Cohen’s d50.86), and decreased pain sensitivity to thermal stimuli (P < 0.05), without adverse events. Exploratory analyses suggested a relationship between the extent of meditation practice and the magnitude of intervention benefits. Conclusions. Meditation-CBT intervention reduced pain severity and sensitivity to experimental thermal pain stimuli in patients with opioid-treated CLBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1865-1881
Number of pages17
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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