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Mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement for chronic pain and prescription opioid misuse: Results from an early-stage randomized controlled trial

ABSTRACT:

Objective: Opioid pharmacotherapy is now the leading treatment for chronic pain, a problem that affects nearly one third of the U.S. population. Given the dramatic rise in prescription opioid misuse and opioid-related mortality, novel behavioral interventions are needed. The purpose of this study was to conduct an early-stage randomized controlled trial of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), a multimodal intervention designed to simultaneously target mechanisms underpinning chronic pain and opioid misuse.

Method: Chronic pain patients (N = 115; mean age = 48 ± 14 years; 68% female) were randomized to 8 weeks of MORE or a support group (SG). Outcomes were measured at pre- and posttreatment, and at 3-month follow-up. The Brief Pain Inventory was used to assess changes in pain severity and interference. Changes in opioid use disorder status were measured by the Current Opioid Misuse Measure. Desire for opioids, stress, nonreactivity, reinterpretation of pain sensations, and reappraisal were also evaluated. Results: MORE participants reported significantly greater reductions in pain severity (p = .038) and interference (p = .003) than SG participants, which were maintained by 3-month follow-up and mediated by increased nonreactivity and reinterpretation of pain sensations. Compared with SG participants, participants in MORE evidenced significantly less stress arousal (p = .034) and desire for opioids (p = .027), and were significantly more likely to no longer meet criteria for opioid use disorder immediately following treatment (p = .05); however, these effects were not sustained at follow-up.

Conclusions: Findings demonstrate preliminary feasibility and efficacy of MORE as a treatment for co-occurring prescription opioid misuse and chronic pain. 

CITATION:

Garland, E.L., Manusov, E.G., Froeliger, B., Kelly, A., Williams, J. M., & Howard, M.O. (2014). Mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement for chronic pain and prescription opioid misuse: Results from an early-stage randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(3), pp. 448-459.

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Last Updated: 4/14/21