Mind over chronic pain: A meta-analysis of cognitive restructuring in chronically ill adults

Published: 3 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/tchv5fgnrz.1
, Paula Maier


We conducted a meta-analysis, compiling data from numerous studies to investigate the effect of cognitive restructuring on chronic pain intensity. The data, organized in an Excel spreadsheet, includes the following variables: • Study ID: Author and publication year. • Treatment Data: Pretreatment and posttreatment means, standard deviations, and sample sizes for both the control and experimental groups. • Effect direction: Indicates whether the effect was positive or negative. • Type of intervention: Whether the intervention was individual or group-based. • Intervention protocol: Whether cognitive restructuring was used alone or combined with additional elements. • Additional elements: Specifies the elements added to cognitive restructuring. • Type of therapists: Whether the intervention was delivered by medical staff or by psychologists exclusively/in the team. • Type of control group: Specifies if the control group was a placebo or a no intervention/waiting list group. • Control condition: Specifies the control group used in the studies. • Session Details: Number of sessions, duration per session, and total. • Demographic Information: Percentage of females, chronic pain condition, mean age, and country. • Assessment Tools: Tools used for assessing pain. • Pain measurement: Whether the measurement was single-item or multi-item. • Study quality: Total study quality score based on version 2 of the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool (RoB 2). The meta-analysis revealed that cognitive restructuring has a significant large effect size on reducing chronic pain intensity. This suggests that cognitive restructuring is an effective intervention for managing chronic pain in adults with chronic conditions. Statistically significant differences were found based on sex and study quality. The effect size was less pronounced among females, and higher-quality studies showed more substantial effects. While sex and study quality significantly influenced the effect size, other potential moderators (type of intervention, intervention protocol, type of therapists, type of control group, age, and pain measurement) did not significantly impact the effect size.



Universitatea Babes-Bolyai Catedrei de Psihologie


Chronic Pain, Cognitive Change