Rumination-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Ali Soleymani 1. Department of Clinical Psychology, Taleghani Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Abbas Masjedi Arani 1. Department of Clinical Psychology, Taleghani Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Seyed Ahmad Raeissadat 2. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Modarres Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Mohammad Hassan Davazdahemami 1. Department of Clinical Psychology, Taleghani Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Keywords: Rumination; Low Back Pain; Depression; Anxiety


Background: Chronic pain remains or reappears for more than 3 to 6 months, and it is influencing 20% of the global population. The pain catastrophizing affects pain intensity and psychological conditions of patients with chronic pain. Rumination-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (RFCBT) targets rumination as the key component of pain catastrophizing. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of RFCBT on depression, anxiety, and pain severity of individuals with chronic low back pain (LBP). Materials and Methods: In a randomized controlled trial, 30 patients aged between 20-55 years with diagnosed chronic LBP were chosen by convenience sampling and randomly allocated into intervention and control groups. All patients used their prescribed medications for pain management, but the intervention group received 12 weekly sessions of RFCBT, which was manualized psychotherapy to change unconstructive rumination to constructive rumination. Depression Anxiety and Stress scale-21 and chronic pain grade questionnaire were administered as pre-tests and re-administered after 3 and 6 months as post-test and follow-up assessments, respectively. Results: RFCBT significantly reduced depression (F1=23.01, P=0.001), anxiety (F1=25.7, P=0.001) and pain severity (F1=7.17, P=0.012) in patients with chronic LBP. Conclusion: RFCBT may offer benefits for treating patients with chronic low back pain when added to their usual pharmacological treatment. This benefit may be the result of targeting rumination as the key element of pain catastrophizing. [GMJ.2020;9:e1722]


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How to Cite
Soleymani, A., Masjedi Arani, A., Raeissadat, S. A., & Davazdahemami, M. H. (2020). Rumination-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Galen Medical Journal, 9, e1722.
Original Article