The cognitive behavioral therapy causes an improvement in quality of life in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2012 Nov;70(11):864-8. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x2012001100008.


Chronic pain causes functional incapacity and compromises an individual's affective, social, and economic life.

Objective: To study the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) effectiveness in a group of patients with chronic pain.

Methods: A randomized clinical trial with two parallel groups comprising 93 patients with chronic pain was carried out. Forty-eight patients were submitted to CBT and 45 continued the standard treatment. The visual analogue, hospital anxiety and depression, and quality of life SF-36 scales were applied. Patients were evaluated before and after ten weeks of treatment.

Results: When the Control Group and CBT were compared, the latter presented reduction of depressive symptoms (p=0.031) and improvement in the domains 'physical limitations' (p=0.012), 'general state of health' (p=0.045), and 'limitations by emotional aspects' (p=0.025).

Conclusions: The CBT was effective and it has caused an improvement in more domains of quality of life when compared to the Control Group, after ten weeks of treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Chronic Pain / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / psychology
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Treatment Outcome