Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 254–262

The Effectiveness of Cognitive and Behavioural Treatment of Chronic Pain in the Elderly: A Quantitative Review

  • Linn-Heidi Lunde
  • Inger Hilde Nordhus
  • Ståle Pallesen


This study provides a meta-analytic review of cognitive and behavioural interventions for chronic pain in the elderly, focusing on treatment effectiveness. Included in the analysis are studies in which a comparison was made either to a control condition or to pre-treatment. A total of 12 outcome studies published or reported between January 1975 and March 2008, were identified involving participants 60 years and above and providing 16 separate treatment interventions. The analysis indicated that cognitive and behavioural interventions were effective on self-reported pain experience, yielding an overall effect size of 0.47. However, there were no significant effects of cognitive and behavioural treatment on symptoms of depression, physical functioning and medication use. Methodological issues concerning design, outcome measures and treatment are discussed and recommendations for future studies are outlined.


Cognitive behavioural interventions Chronic pain Elderly Meta-analysis 


References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the review.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linn-Heidi Lunde
    • 1
    • 2
  • Inger Hilde Nordhus
    • 2
  • Ståle Pallesen
    • 3
  1. 1.The Pain ClinicHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  3. 3.Department of Psychosocial ScienceUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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