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Mindfulness Training for Chronic Pain Management: A Review of the Clinical Evidence and Guidelines

Last updated: January 12, 2012
Project Number: RC0318-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Other Diagnostics
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of mindfulness training for chronic pain management in adults?
  2. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of mindfulness training for chronic pain management in adults?

Key Message

Regarding the effectiveness of mindfulness-training in the treatment of chronic pain, the systematic reviews included in this review concluded the following: insufficient evidence to draw conclusions (three reviews); preliminary evidence supporting the use mindfulness-training (two studies); and good evidence that cognitive behavioral therapy and progressive relaxation are effective for chronic low back pain (one study). Ten RCTs failed to consistently demonstrate statistically significant improvements with various forms of mindfulness training in patients with chronic pain. One evidence-based guideline suggested that cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and biofeedback may be useful in the treatment of chronic pain.