Predicting response to cognitive-behavioral therapy in a sample of HIV-positive patients with chronic pain

  • Michael A. Cucciare
  • John T. Sorrell
  • Jodie A. Trafton



The primary aim of this study was to examine the role of patient characteristics in predicting response to treatment in a sample of HIV-positive patients receiving 12 weekly sessions of a CBT-based pain management protocol.


A pre/post test single group design was used. Pain-related functioning was assessed at baseline and 12 weeks post-treatment using the Pain Outcomes Questionnaire-VA.

Data analysis and Results

Multivariate regression analysis showed that higher baseline levels of pain-related anxiety were related to greater improvement in pain-related functioning at post-treatment, and non-Caucasian participants reported a greater response to treatment when compared to Caucasian participants. Attendance to CBT treatment sessions focused on progressive muscle relaxation and cognitive reconceptualization of pain were also related to treatment outcome.


Non-Caucasian patients reporting higher levels of pain-related anxiety may respond particularly well to treatment. Treatment sessions focused on progressive muscle relaxation and cognitive reconceptualization of pain may be particularly helpful.


Cognitive behavioral therapy Chronic pain management HIV-positive Pain-related anxiety 



The work described in this manuscript was supported by the Health Services Research and Development Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, and by a community collaborative grant from the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CR04-PAIRE-519).


The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official positions of the Department of Veterans Affairs nor the California HIV/AIDS Research Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Cucciare
    • 1
  • John T. Sorrell
    • 2
  • Jodie A. Trafton
    • 1
  1. 1.CHCEVeterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of MedicineMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.San Mateo County Medical CenterSan MateoUSA

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