The Science Behind Our Program

Our program was developed with the help of pain management experts and is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Chronic Pain, an intervention that teaches pain-coping attitudes, relaxation techniques, stress management, and other strategies for pain. It’s been practiced for over thirty years, and has hundreds of studies to back it up [1–5], including many that show its effectiveness when delivered online [6-9].

According to one example study [5], patients who went through CBT were:

  • 9 times more likely to have less pain than the other patients

  • 5 times more likely to have a better quality of life than the other patients

As a result, CBT is used for chronic pain by some of the most renowned medical facilities in the world, such as the following:

Hospitals using CBT for pain.001.jpeg

There’s so much evidence for CBT for chronic pain that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the main government body in charge of improving public health for the country, recommends CBT as one of the first treatments to try for chronic pain before opioids or surgeries [10].

CBT has been shown to help with the following types of pain:

  • Lower back pain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Knee pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Neck pain

  • Tension-type headaches

  • Migraines

  • Most other types of pain lasting longer than three months


Remember to always consult with your physician before making changes to any medications, surgeries, or medical treatments.


Relevant Research Studies

Note: this research is for CBT for Chronic Pain, which our program is based on, not for SamaCare's program specifically.

  1. Morley S, Eccleston C, Williams A. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of cognitive behaviour therapy and behaviour therapy for chronic pain in adults, excluding headache. Pain. 1999;80(1–2):1–13. doi:10.1016/S0304-3959(98)00255-3 PMID: 10204712
  2. Hoffman BM, Papas RK, Chatkoff DK, Kerns RD. Meta-analysis of psychological interventions for chronic low back pain. Heal Psychol. 2007;26(1):1–9. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.26.1.1 PMID: 17209691
  3. Ehde DM, Dillworth TM, Turner JA. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for individuals with chronic pain: Efficacy, innovations, and directions for research. Am Psychol. 2014;69(2):153–166. doi:10.1037/a0035747 PMID: 21683527
  4. Turner JA, Mancl L, Aaron LA. Short-and long-term efficacy of brief cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with chronic temporomandibular disorder pain: A randomized, controlled trial. Pain. 2006; doi:10.1016/j.pain.2005.11.017 PMID: 16495014
  5. Thieme K, Turk DC, Flor H. Responder criteria for operant and cognitive–behavioral treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Jun 15;57(5):830–836. doi:10.1002/art.22778 PMID: 17530683
  6. Eccleston C, Fisher E, Craig L, Duggan GB, Rosser BA, Keogh E. Psychological therapies (Internet-delivered) for the management of chronic pain in adults. In: Eccleston C, editor. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd; 2014. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010152.pub2
  7. Carpenter KM, Stoner SA, Mundt JM, Stoelb B. An online self-help CBT intervention for chronic lower back pain. Clin J Pain. 2012 Jan;28(1):14–22. doi:10.1097/AJP.0b013e31822363db PMID: 21681084
  8. Macea DD, Gajos K, Daglia Calil YA, Fregni F. The efficacy of web-based cognitive behavioral interventions for chronic pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pain. 2010;11(10):917–929. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2010.06.005 PMID: 20650691
  9. Bromberg J, Wood ME, Black RA, Surette DA, Zacharoff KL, Chiauzzi EJ. A randomized trial of a web-based intervention to improve migraine self-management and coping. Headache. 2012 Feb;52(2):244–61. PMID: 22413151
  10. Dowell D, Haegerich TM, Chou R. CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016 [Internet]. MMWR. Recommendations and Reports. 2016 [cited 2017 Nov 22]. p. 1–49. Available from: doi:10.15585/mmwr.rr6501e1er