Background: Over 100 million Americans have chronic pain and most obtain their treatment in primary care clinics. However, evidence-based behavioral treatments targeting pain-related disability are not typically provided in these settings. Therefore, this study sought to: 1) evaluate implementation of a brief evidence-based treatment, Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (FACT-CP), delivered by an integrated behavioral health consultant (BHC) in primary care; and 2) preliminarily explore primary (self-reported physical disability) and secondary treatment outcomes (chronic pain acceptance and engagement in valued activities). Methods: This mixed-methods pilot randomized controlled trial included twenty-six participants with non-cancer chronic pain being treated in primary care (54% women; 46% Hispanic/Latino). Active participants completed a 30-min individual FACT-CP visit followed by 3 weekly 60-min group visits and a booster visit 2 months later. An enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU) control group received 4 handouts about pain management based in cognitive-behavioral science. Follow-up research visits occurred during and after treatment, at 12 weeks (booster visit), and at 6 months. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect qualitative data after the last research visit. General linear mixed regression models with repeated measures explored primary and secondary outcomes. Results: The study design and FACT-CP intervention were feasible and acceptable. Quantitative analyses indicate at 6-month follow-up, self-reported physical disability significantly improved pre-post within the FACT-CP arm (d = 0.64); engagement in valued activities significantly improved within both the FACT-CP (d = 0.70) and ETAU arms (d = 0.51); and chronic pain acceptance was the only outcome significantly different between arms (d = 1.04), increased in the FACT-CP arm and decreased in the ETAU arm. Qualitative data analyses reflected that FACT-CP participants reported acquiring skills for learning to live with pain, consistent with increased chronic pain acceptance. Conclusion: Findings support that FACT-CP was acceptable for patients with chronic pain and feasible for delivery in a primary care setting by a BHC. Results provide preliminary evidence for improved physical functioning after FACT-CP treatment. A larger pragmatic trial is warranted, with a design based on data gathered in this pilot. Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov, NCT04978961 (27/07/2021).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice