Objective. Sleep disturbance is a common complaint in people with chronic pain, and is associated with a range of adverse outcomes including reports of greater pain and disability. Research into insomnia with chronic pain sufferers has not yet examined the role of psychological flexibility, a process from acceptance and commitment therapy. We examined this role.
Design. Participants in this study were 159 adult patients attending an assessment at a specialist pain center. They were mostly women, 63%, and the mean age was 43.8 years.
Results. In preliminary analyses 79% of participants met the criteria for significant insomnia based on their self-reported symptoms. As predicted, significant positive correlations were found between components of psychological flexibility, particularly acceptance of pain and values-based action, and all measures of sleep quality. In regression analyses, the components of psychological flexibility considered together accounted for between 11% and 19% of variance across a range of measures of sleep quality.
Conclusion. These results suggest the need to further develop treatment services for people with chronic pain and insomnia.
- chronic pain
- acceptance and commitment therapy
- cognitive behavioral therapy