Treatment Considerations for Comorbid Insomnia and Chronic Pain: A Biopsychosocial Approach to Clinical Care




Van Ness, Olivia Elizabeth

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BACKGROUND: Interdisciplinary pain management programs have proven to be quite effective in alleviating presenting patient symptoms. Sleep is a complex process not well understood and the effects it maintains on subsequent daytime function appear to influence pain and related symptoms. SUBJECTS: 134 qualifying participants were drawn from an interdisciplinary pain management program. The majority of subjects were females of Caucasian race with sample ages ranging from 20 to 86 years. Participants were compensated a small amount for their time. METHOD: Patients were administered computerized testing on measures of pain, mood, and function prior to and upon successful completion of the program. Participants were placed into groups based on their performance on sleep measures to be examined for differences. RESULTS: Time spent in the interdisciplinary program was shown to be effective across all measures administered, including sleep measures. The sleep improvement group showed significantly more change on measures of physical function and social satisfaction. DISCUSSION: This study further strengthens the argument for the use of interdisciplinary pain management by providing an example of global improvement among the sample. Particular attention should be paid to physical function and social satisfaction when observing differences in sleep disturbance and sleep-related impairment.

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