FM and Other Chronic Pain Conditions Managed with Psychotherapy, Review Says

FM and Other Chronic Pain Conditions Managed with Psychotherapy, Review Says

Researchers attending the The Italian Consensus Conference on Pain in Neurorehabilitation conducted a systematic review to assess the available evidence supporting the use of psychological therapies for pain reduction in neurological diseases, such as fibromyalgia (FM). Their findings, in a study titled “Psychological Treatments and Psychotherapies in the Neurorehabilitation of Pain: Evidences and Recommendations from the Italian Consensus Conference on Pain in Neurorehabilitation,” were published in the latest edition of the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

About the Study

Conference members conducted a systematic review of the current literature associated with neurorehabilitative therapies targeted at the management of chronic pain conditions.  They focused on understanding the evidence of studies evaluating the effect of psychotherapies on pain intensity in neurological disorders.

The review yielded 400 articles that met the study criteria and the pertinent findings included:

  • The different forms of psychological interventions utilized by researchers include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, cognitive or behavioral techniques, Mindfulness, hypnosis, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Brief Interpersonal Therapy, virtual reality interventions, various forms of biofeedback, and mirror therapy.
  • These therapies were found effective for pain reduction in pathologies such as musculoskeletal pain, FM, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating syndromes, diabetic neuropathy, and other neurological conditions.

These results provide support for the use of psychological interventions and psychotherapies as a safe and effective treatment that can be used with an integrated approach for patients undergoing neurological rehabilitation for pain in conditions such as FM.

Discussing the importance of these results, the authors wrote, “There is general agreement on the fact that most psychological therapies can lead to clinically significant improvements in the experience of patients suffering from FM as these can prevent and treat depressive symptoms often associated with the condition, promote the management of insomnia and fatigue and reduce the impact of psychological factors related to the pain.”

About the Conference

The Italian Consensus Conference on Pain in Neurorehabilitation brings together experts in neurorehabilitative medicine throughout Italy to further understand the pathophysiology of chronic pain disorders such as FM, and the psychological, psychosocial, and behavioral impacts of these diseases on patients’ lives.

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