Values-based behavioral activation for chronic pain in primary care: a pilot study
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Chronic pain is prevalent and can be complex to manage in primary care. Encouraging patients with chronic pain to engage in valued activities has been associated with reduced disability and distress. This single-arm, mixed methods pilot study examined whether adding a values-based behavioral activation intervention to a chronic pain protocol is feasible and acceptable in an urban, underserved family medicine residency clinic. Patients (N = 30) living with chronic pain completed a values assessment and co-created a plan with a psychologist to engage in values-based activities. Patients completed self-report measures of psychological health and functioning pre- and post-intervention and a qualitative interview at the follow-up visit. The intervention was considered feasible and acceptable. Patients reported high levels of satisfaction and enjoyment of the intervention and significantly less pain interference at follow-up compared to baseline. Values-based behavioral activation for chronic pain may be implemented as part of behavioral health practice in primary care.
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