Biofeedback has therapeutic value for pain management in traumatised refugees. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Biofeedback for pain management in traumatised refugees.
Cogn Behav Ther. 2009 Sep;38(3):184-90. PMID: 19675955
Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. Julia.Mueller@usz.ch
Chronic pain (CP) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are both frequent and often comorbid in refugees. To date, few controlled trials have studied the efficacy of treatments targeting this comorbidity; no treatment guidelines yet exist. The authors examined the feasibility and efficacy of short-term cognitive behavioural biofeedback (BF) addressing CP in traumatised refugees. The sample comprised 11 severely traumatised refugees with CP and PTSD (mean age = 36 years, SD = 6), who underwent assessment with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale, Pain Disability Index, and Visual Rating Scale. Additionally, coping with pain and psychotherapy tolerance were assessed. Acceptance of BF was high. Pre-post effects were small to medium for increased pain management and associated heart rate reactivity but large for coping with pain. The results encourage further research to confirm whether BF is indicated as a treatment component, but not a stand-alone treatment, for traumatised refugees with comorbid CP and PTSD.