Psychological and behavioral approaches to pain management for patients with rheumatic disease

Academic Article


  • This article reviews the efficacy of the psychological and behavioral pain management interventions that have been evaluated among adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthiritis (OA), and fibromyalgia (FM). Using published criteria for empirically validated interventions, it is concluded that cognitive-behavioral therapies and the Arthritis Self-Management Program represent well-established treatments for pain among patients with RA and OA. These interventions involve education, training in relaxation and other coping skills, and rehearsal of these skills in patients' home and work environments. There currently are no psychological or behavioral interventions for pain among FM patients that can be considered as well-established treatments. Future intervention research should use clinically meaningful change measures in addition to conventional tests of statistical significance, attend to the pain management needs of children, and assess whether outcomes produced in university-based treatment centers generalize to those in local treatment settings.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 12865335
  • Author List

  • Bradley LA; Alberts KR
  • Start Page

  • 215
  • End Page

  • 232
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 1