JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

The current state of the science for active self-care complementary and integrative medicine therapies in the management of chronic pain symptoms: lessons learned, directions for the future

Cindy Crawford, Courtney Lee, Chester Buckenmaier, Eric Schoomaker, Richard Petri, Wayne Jonas
Pain Medicine: the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine 2014, 15 Suppl 1: S104-13
24734856

OBJECTIVES: Chronic pain management typically consists of prescription medications or provider-based, behavioral, or interventional procedures which are often ineffective, may be costly, and can be associated with undesirable side effects. Because chronic pain affects the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), patient-centered complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) therapies that acknowledge the patients' roles in their own healing processes have the potential to provide more efficient and comprehensive chronic pain management. Active self-care CIM (ACT-CIM) therapies allow for a more diverse, patient-centered treatment of complex symptoms, promote self-management, and are relatively safe and cost-effective. To date, there are no systematic reviews examining the full range of ACT-CIM used for chronic pain symptom management.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted, using Samueli Institute's rapid evidence assessment of the literature methodology, to rigorously assess both the quality of the research on ACT-CIM modalities and the evidence for their efficacy and effectiveness in treating chronic pain symptoms. A working group of subject matter experts was also convened to evaluate the overall literature pool and develop recommendations for the use and implementation of these modalities.

RESULTS: Following key database searches, 146 randomized controlled trials were included in the review.

CONCLUSION: This article summarizes the current state of the science, lessons learned from the gaps exposed by the review, as well as suggestions for next steps toward translation for the field. Although the review's entire scope is detailed throughout the current Pain Medicine supplement, the authors encourage the use of this report as a guide for future ACT-CIM research.

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