A Prospective Examination of Acceptance at a CBT-based Interdisciplinary Chronic Pain Management Program.
Acceptance is willingness to remain in contact with thoughts and feelings without efforts toward following or changing them. Thus in chronic pain, acceptance leads to living with
pain without reaction, disapproval or attempts to avoid it.
This functional approach consists of first acknowledging that it is impossible to completely alleviate pain and subsequently adopting an active strategy to engage in life activities. Acceptance involves a
focus away from the pain to non-pain aspects of life. The patient is encouraged to stop behaviours such as avoidance that relieve pain at the cost of reducing quality of life.
Both CBT and ACT reduce pain catastrophizing in patients,10 and pain programs based on CBT has been shown to be effective in managing chronic pain. Chronic pain management clinics have main objectives such as reducing patient experience of pain, improving physical, and lifestyle function, increasing social support, and reducing dependency on medication. They also include psycho-education to teach patients about methods of pain control and effective coping strategies.
The CPAQ, as developed by Geiser, assesses the level of acceptance of chronic
pain. The questionnaire originally included four factors-life focus, cognitive control, acceptance of chronicity and the need to avoid or control pain. Further research by McCracken, Vowles and Eccleston aimed to eliminate factors that were inconsistent or redundant. Multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation programs, which involve CBT approaches have been found effective in improving treatment outcomes.
Psychol Cogn Sci Open J. 2018; 4(1): 14-23. doi: 10.17140/PCSOJ-4-139