A cognitive-behavioural program for adolescents with chronic pain-a pilot study

Vivian P B M Merlijn, Joke A M Hunfeld, Johannes C van der Wouden, Alice A J M Hazebroek-Kampschreur, Lisette W A van Suijlekom-Smit, Bart W Koes, Jan Passchier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this pilot study is to evaluate the feasibility of a cognitive-behavioural training program for adolescents with chronic pain irrespective of pain localisation. A secondary aim was to give an impression of the effect of the program on pain and quality of life. Eight adolescents (14-18 years) with chronic non-organic pain recruited from the general population (and their parents) participated in this pilot study. The intervention included five group meetings alternated with four telephone contacts (during the self-management weeks) over a period of 9 weeks. The training aimed to change pain behaviour through pain education, relaxation strategies, problem-solving techniques, assertiveness training, cognitive restructuring and by stimulating the adolescent's physical activity level. The training further addresses the social context of pain by inviting parents to attend two meetings for the parents only, and by asking the adolescents to bring a peer to one of the meetings. Adolescents and their parents were positive about the program. Adolescents felt they were more in control of their pain and parents valued the support they experienced in helping their children to master the pain. The training was considered to be feasible in daily life. Further, the preliminary data showed an effect on pain and quality of life in the expected direction. The results underline the need for a definitive study with a larger sample size and a random controlled design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-34
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior/psychology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cognitive Therapy/organization & administration
  • Curriculum
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Netherlands
  • Pain/prevention & control
  • Parents/psychology
  • Patient Education as Topic/organization & administration
  • Pilot Projects
  • Problem Solving
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Quality of Life/psychology
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Self Care/methods

Cite this