Pilot Study of Accelerated Resolution Therapy for Treatment of Chronic Refractory Neuropathic Pain

Kevin E. Kip, Cindy Tofthagen, Rita F. D'Aoust, Sue Ann Girling, Yolanda Harper, Laney Rosenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Chronic, neuropathic pain is a severe physically and emotionally disabling condition that often responds poorly to standard pain treatment. Alternative and complementary treatment approaches may be useful. The current authors sought to investigate the potential efficacy of Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) for treating chronic neuropathic pain. Materials and Methods: Design: A prospective cohort pilot study was conducted. Setting: Sessions of ART were delivered by licensed mental health professionals at a public university in Florida. Subjects: Ten adult patients (mean age 64.5 years, 60% female) with chronic neuropathic pain received an average of 3.1 sessions of ART. Interventions: All patients were treated with ART, a mind-body psychotherapeutic approach that is evidence-based for treatment of psychologic trauma and depression. Outcome Measures: Self-reported measures of pain and comorbidities were obtained pre-ART, post-ART, and at a 1-month follow-up. Results: For 31 sessions of ART delivered, the mean patient rating on the 0-10 Subjective Units of Distress Scale was 6.8±2.1 at each session's beginning, compared to 2.9±2.0 at each session's end (t=7.91; P<0.0001). For the full treatment period, the mean score on the Pain Outcomes Questionnaire was 76.2±30.2 before ART versus 61.2±29.9 after ART (treatment effect size=0.66; P=0.07). Mean score on the Bodily Pain subscale of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 improved significantly from 34.5±20.1 before ART to 49.8±25.4 after ART (effect size=0.79; P=0.03). There were suggestions of improved mobility, emotional health, and sleep quality after treatment with ART, as well as reduced pain and improved energy/fatigue at the 1-month follow-up. Conclusions: While preliminary, results of this uncontrolled pilot study suggested that ART may be a useful treatment for chronic moderate-to-severe neuropathic pain. Future controlled studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalAlternative and Complementary Therapies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2016


  • accelerated resolution therapy
  • eye movements
  • neuropathy
  • pain
  • psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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