brand logo

Am Fam Physician. 2024;109(4):314-315

This clinical content conforms to AAFP criteria for CME.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial relationships.

Clinical Question

Does remote delivery of psychological therapies reduce pain and disability and improve quality of life in adults with chronic pain?

Evidence-Based Answer

Remotely delivered cognitive behavior therapy reduces pain intensity and improves functional ability compared with treatment as usual.1 (Strength of Recommendation: B, moderate-quality evidence from randomized controlled trials.) However, the benefit does not persist at follow-up, and more research is needed to assess other forms of therapy, such as acceptance and commitment therapy, and the effectiveness of psychotherapy as an adjunct treatment.

Practice Pointers

Chronic pain affects the daily life and work of more than 20% of the U.S. population.2 People with chronic pain are at greater risk of depression, dementia, substance abuse, and suicide.3 A previous Cochrane review demonstrated that face-to-face psychotherapy results in sustained improvement in chronic pain.4 Addressing chronic pain may also require a multidisciplinary approach that includes psychotherapy.5

Already a member/subscriber?  Log In


From $165
  • Immediate, unlimited access to all AFP content
  • More than 130 CME credits/year
  • AAFP app access
  • Print delivery available

Issue Access

  • Immediate, unlimited access to this issue's content
  • CME credits
  • AAFP app access
  • Print delivery available
Purchase Access:  Learn More

These are summaries of reviews from the Cochrane Library.

This series is coordinated by Corey D. Fogleman, MD, assistant medical editor.

A collection of Cochrane for Clinicians published in AFP is available at

Continue Reading

More in AFP

More in PubMed

Copyright © 2024 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.