OBJECTIVE: Individuals with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have high rates of both chronic pain and substance use disorder (SUD). Despite high comorbidity, there are limited data available on effective methods of treatment for co-occurring chronic pain and SUD. In this study, we sought to develop and conduct preliminary testing of an integrated cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) for chronic pain and SUD in patients with HCV.
DESIGN: Descriptive, including pretreatment, posttreatment, and follow-up testing.
SETTING AND PATIENTS: Outpatient clinic as part of one VA Medical Center.
PARTICIPANTS: Veterans with chronic pain, SUD, and HCV.
INTERVENTION: Eight-session integrated group CBT for chronic pain and SUD in patients with HCV.
METHODS: Participants completed standardized measures of pain, function, depression severity, and alcohol and substance use at baseline, post-treatment, and 3-month follow-up.
RESULTS: Generalized estimating equations identified improvements in pain interference, reducing cravings for alcohol and other substances, and decreasing past-month alcohol and substance use. The proportion of participants who met diagnostic criteria for current SUD demonstrated a four-fold decrease over the course of the study from 24% at baseline to 15% at post-treatment and 6% at 3-month follow-up. On response to a global impression of change, 94% of participants noted improvement from baseline.
CONCLUSIONS: Results from this pilot study suggest that a customized CBT for patients with both chronic pain and SUD (CBT-cp.sud) may be beneficial in improving important pain and addiction-related outcomes in patients with HCV. Larger scale investigations of this intervention appear warranted.
- Chronic Pain
- Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
- Hepatitis C Virus
- Integrated Treatment
- Substance Use Disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine