A cognitive behavioral smoking abstinence intervention for adults with chronic pain: a randomized controlled pilot trial

Addict Behav. 2014 Mar;39(3):593-9. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.11.010. Epub 2013 Nov 21.


Current evidence suggests it may be difficult for patients with chronic pain to quit smoking and, based on previous formative work, a 7-session individual and group-based cognitive behavioral (CB) intervention was developed. The primary aim of this randomized controlled pilot trial was to test the hypothesis that abstinence at month 6 would be greater among patients with chronic pain who received the CB intervention compared to a control condition. Upon admission to a 3-week interdisciplinary pain treatment (IPT) program, patients were randomized to receive the CB intervention (n=30) or the control condition (n=30). The 7-day point prevalence of self-reported smoking status was assessed at week 3 (upon completion of the 3-week IPT program) and at month 6 in an intent-to-treat analysis. At week 3, 30% (n=9) of patients in the CB condition were abstinent from smoking compared to 10% (n=3) in the control group (P=.104). At month 6, 20% (n=6) of patients who received the CB intervention were abstinent compared to none in the control group (P=.024). At week 3, a significant group by time interaction effect was found where the CB patients experienced greater improvements in self-efficacy from baseline compared to the control group (P=.002). A greater proportion of patients randomized to the CB group completed the IPT program (P=.052). The findings of this pilot trial suggest that integration of a CB-based smoking abstinence intervention into ongoing pain therapy may be an effective treatment for smokers with chronic pain.

Keywords: Chronic pain; Cognitive behavioral; Randomized controlled trial; Smoking abstinence.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Pain*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods
  • Smoking / therapy*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome