Research published this month in the Journal Pain found that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help relieve pain for people with painful diabetic neuropathies.
This was a randomized, treatment as usual (TAU), controlled, non-blinded intervention pilot study with a 4-month follow-up conducted in a VA Medical Center in Boston. It was hypothesized that participants who received CBT, as compared to those who received TAU, would report significant decreases on self-report measures of pain severity, interference, and depressive symptoms from pretreatment to 4-month follow-up.
Participants (n=20) were randomized to either CBT or to TAU. Participants who received CBT showed significant decreases on measures of pain severity and pain interference from pretreatment to 4-month follow-up. There were no significant changes in the TAU participants’ scores on measures of pain severity or pain interference. Neither CBT nor TAU participants showed significant changes in their levels of depressive symptoms from pretreatment to 4-month follow-up.
In this first of its kind study, the authors concluded that CBT may be an effective treatment approach for reducing pain severity and interference associated with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy.