Positive impacts of psychological pain treatments: Supplementary analyses of a randomized clinical trial

Author: Erica J Ho1, Aaron P Turner1, Mark P Jensen2, Melissa A Day2, Dawn M Ehde2, Tracy M Anastas1, Rhonda M Williams1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Rehabilitation Care Service, VA Puget Sound Health Care System - Seattle Division. <sup>2</sup> Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine.
Conference/Journal: Rehabil Psychol
Date published: 2024 Mar 28
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1037/rep0000557. , Word Count: 266

Clinical trials often focus on symptom reduction as a primary outcome, overlooking positive psychology factors of potential importance although many individuals can and do live well with pain. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Psychosocial Illness Impact-Positive (PIIP) scale assesses perceptions of adaptive psychosocial functioning (e.g., coping and meaning-making) after illness onset. This study evaluated the effects of hypnosis (HYP), mindfulness meditation (MM), and pain psychoeducation (ED) on PIIP scores, using data from a completed randomized clinical trial (RCT) of complementary and integrative chronic pain interventions. We hypothesized that treatment effects on PIIP would mirror the RCT's primary pain intensity outcome, such that HYP and MM, relative to ED, would lead to greater improvements in PIIP during trial follow-up.

Our sample included 262 Veterans who completed the PROMIS PIIP Short-Form 8a at pre- and posttreatment and at 3- and 6-month follow-up. Linear regression was used to test between-group differences in PIIP at each time point, controlling for baseline PIIP, average pain intensity, and baseline perceptions of prepain psychosocial functioning.

There were no significant between-group differences in PIIP at posttreatment or 3-month follow-up. However, group differences emerged at 6-month follow-up: individuals randomized to MM and HYP showed improved PIIP relative to those randomized to ED.

Positive psychosocial outcomes are a mostly untapped territory in clinical trials of pain interventions. The present work highlights the potential benefits of including positive psychology concepts in both research and clinical contexts, emphasizing the importance of understanding human flourishing in the presence of illness and disability. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID: 38546554 DOI: 10.1037/rep0000557