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Morasco BJ, Greaves DW, Lovejoy TI, Turk DC, Dobscha SK, Hauser P. Development and Preliminary Evaluation of an Integrated Cognitive-Behavior Treatment for Chronic Pain and Substance Use Disorder in Patients with the Hepatitis C Virus. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.). 2016 Dec 1; 17(12):2280-2290.
OBJECTIVE: Individuals with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have high rates of both chronic pain and substance use disorder (SUD). Despite high comorbidity, there are limited data available on effective methods of treatment for co-occurring chronic pain and SUD. In this study, we sought to develop and conduct preliminary testing of an integrated cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) for chronic pain and SUD in patients with HCV. DESIGN: Descriptive, including pretreatment, posttreatment, and follow-up testing. SETTING AND PATIENTS: Outpatient clinic as part of one VA Medical Center. PARTICIPANTS: Veterans with chronic pain, SUD, and HCV. INTERVENTION: Eight-session integrated group CBT for chronic pain and SUD in patients with HCV. METHODS: Participants completed standardized measures of pain, function, depression severity, and alcohol and substance use at baseline, post-treatment, and 3-month follow-up. RESULTS: Generalized estimating equations identified improvements in pain interference, reducing cravings for alcohol and other substances, and decreasing past-month alcohol and substance use. The proportion of participants who met diagnostic criteria for current SUD demonstrated a four-fold decrease over the course of the study from 24% at baseline to 15% at post-treatment and 6% at 3-month follow-up. On response to a global impression of change, 94% of participants noted improvement from baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Results from this pilot study suggest that a customized CBT for patients with both chronic pain and SUD (CBT-cp.sud) may be beneficial in improving important pain and addiction-related outcomes in patients with HCV. Larger scale investigations of this intervention appear warranted.