This review covers the current cognitive behavioural treatments available to address fear-avoidance beliefs in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP). Four types of treatment protocols were identified for inclusion in the review: (a) graded in vivo exposure (GivE); (b) graded activity (GA); (c) acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT); and (d) mixed cognitive behavioural protocols. Most of the research suggests that GivE and ACT result in the best outcomes for treating fear-avoidance beliefs in patients with CMP. There is also a readily apparent paucity of research from North America; indeed, most of the available studies were conducted in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. This relative absence of North American research raises potentially important questions about the role of compensation status and access to care, which differ between countries, on treatment outcome. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Bailey, K. M., Carleton, R. N., Vlaeyen, J. W. S., & Asmundson, G. J. (2010). Treatments addressing pain-related fear and anxiety in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain: a preliminary review. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 39(1), 46-63. https://doi.org/10.1080/16506070902980711