Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.
Chronic pain is a common and serious medical condition affecting an estimated 100 million people in the United States, which correlates with annual costs of approximately $635 billion. In the 1990s, opioids were increasingly prescribed to manage chronic pain, and this practice contributed to the opioid epidemic of the 21st century. To combat this epidemic, multidisciplinary approaches to chronic pain management are being researched and implemented.
A small-scale study was conducted in a semi-rural population in Oregon where issues of affordability, addiction and access to care are common. A total of 28 participants aged 34 to 77 years who reported having chronic pain for at least one year were recruited from a community-based teaching hospital in Corvallis, Oregon for a pre-post study.
Study participants received 8 weeks of instruction in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program (MBSR) in 2.5-hour weekly sessions based on training people to have an awareness of the self in the present moment in a nonjudgmental manner. Afterwards, techniques were self-practiced between sessions with a goal of 30 minutes per day, 6 days per week. Researchers administered pre- and post survey measurements of pain, depression and functional capacity, and participants were asked about their satisfaction with the program content, instructor, timing and location. Read more >>