Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine age differences in response to different forms of psychotherapy for chronic pain.
Methods: We performed a secondary analysis of 114 adults (ages 18-89 years) with a variety of chronic, nonmalignant pain conditions randomly assigned to 8 weeks of group-administered acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Treatment response was defined as a drop of at least three points on the Brief Pain Inventory-interference subscale.
Results: Older adults were more likely to respond to ACT, and younger adults to CBT, both immediately following treatment and at 6-month follow-up. There were no significant differences in credibility, expectations of positive outcome, attrition, or satisfaction, although there was a trend for the youngest adults (ages 18-45 years) to complete fewer sessions.
Conclusions: These data suggest that ACT may be an effective and acceptable treatment for chronic pain in older adults.
Keywords: chronic pain; mindfulness; psychotherapy.
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.