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Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Central Pain Sensitization Syndromes: A Systematic Review

Department of Psychology, University of Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
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Academic Editors: Louise Mchugh, Rhonda Merwin and Elena Tomba
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(12), 2706; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122706
Received: 14 March 2021 / Revised: 15 June 2021 / Accepted: 18 June 2021 / Published: 19 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Cognitive and Behavior Psychotherapies)
Objectives: Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is considered by the American Psychological Association as an evidence-based treatment for a variety of disorders, including chronic pain. The main objective of the present systematic review was to determine the effectiveness of ACT in patients with central pain sensitization syndromes (CPSS). Methods: This systematic review was conducted according to the guidelines of the Cochrane Collaboration and PRISMA statements. The protocol was registered in advance in the Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) international database. The selected articles were evaluated using the Cochrane risk of bias (ROB) assessment tool. The PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched. Results: The literature search identified 21 studies (including investigations of fibromyalgia syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraine) eligible for the systematic review. There were no studies regarding the effectiveness of ACT for chronic tension-type headache (CTTH), interstitial cystitis (IC), or temporomandibular disorder (TMD). The evaluation of ROB showed that 12 of the selected studies were of low quality, 5 were of moderate quality, and 4 were high quality. ACT reduces some clinical symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and pain. This positive effect of ACT might be mediated by pain acceptance, psychological flexibility, optimism, self-efficacy, or adherence to values. ACT showed better results in comparison to non-intervention (e.g., “waiting list”) conditions, as well as pharmacological and psychoeducational interventions. It is not entirely clear whether extended ACT treatments are more advantageous than briefer interventions. Conclusions: There are few studies about the effectiveness of ACT on CPSS. However, ACT seems to reduce subjective CPSS symptoms and improve the health-related quality of life of these patients. The absence of studies on the effectiveness of ACT in CTTH, IC, and TMD, indicate the pressing need for further ACT studies in these CPSS. View Full-Text
Keywords: fibromyalgia syndrome; irritable bowel syndrome; chronic tension headache; migraine; interstitial cystitis; temporomandibular disorder; acceptance and commitment therapy; ACT; systematic review fibromyalgia syndrome; irritable bowel syndrome; chronic tension headache; migraine; interstitial cystitis; temporomandibular disorder; acceptance and commitment therapy; ACT; systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Galvez-Sánchez, C.M.; Montoro, C.I.; Moreno-Padilla, M.; Reyes del Paso, G.A.; de la Coba, P. Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Central Pain Sensitization Syndromes: A Systematic Review. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 2706. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122706

AMA Style

Galvez-Sánchez CM, Montoro CI, Moreno-Padilla M, Reyes del Paso GA, de la Coba P. Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Central Pain Sensitization Syndromes: A Systematic Review. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(12):2706. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122706

Chicago/Turabian Style

Galvez-Sánchez, Carmen M., Casandra I. Montoro, María Moreno-Padilla, Gustavo A. Reyes del Paso, and Pablo de la Coba. 2021. "Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Central Pain Sensitization Syndromes: A Systematic Review" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 12: 2706. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122706

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