Cognitive behavioral therapy, self-efficacy, and depression in persons with chronic pain

Virginia R. Nash, Julie Ponto, Cynthia Townsend, Pamela Nelson, Miranda N. Bretz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Chronic pain is a complex and often disabling condition compounded by depression and poor self-efficacy. The purpose of this evidence-based project was to explore the relationship of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-focused groups with self-efficacy and depression in persons with chronic pain at an intensive interdisciplinary 3-week pain rehabilitation center (PRC). The project sample consisted of 138 persons admitted to a PRC and scoring ≥27 on the Center for Epidemiological Study Depression Scale (CES-D) and then completing the Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (PSEQ). After completing the PRC program, including CBT-focused groups, discharge CES-D and PSEQ scores were analyzed. A comparison group of CES-D scores from 134 persons admitted to the PRC from a 9-month time period preceding the addition of the CBT-focused groups was also examined. There was a significant increase in self-efficacy after participation in the intensive pain rehabilitation program including CBT-focused groups. Patient groups both before and after introduction of CBT-focused groups showed the same rate of improvement on the depression scores, suggesting that persons who participated in CBT-focused groups improved equally compared with persons who did not participate in these groups. Ninety-three percent of the participants expressed satisfaction with the CBT groups. This evidence-based practice is well supported in the literature and can be implemented with knowledgeable staff and engaged stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E236-E243
JournalPain Management Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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