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Original Article Autumn 2004, Volume 9 Issue 3: 157-162

The Computer-Assisted Cognitive/Imagery System for use in the management of pain

JJ Borckardt | J Younger | J Winkel | MR Nash | et al

BACKGROUND: There is growing interest in computer-delivered psychological interventions for a number of clinical conditions, including pain.
OBJECTIVES: This study tests the effectiveness of a new computer-delivered pain-management program using a laboratory pain paradigm.
METHODS: One hundred twenty undergraduate students were randomly assigned to either the computerized pain-management group or the distraction control group. Subjects underwent a cold-pressor task and were asked to continuously rate their subjective pain experience.
RESULTS: Women receiving the computerized pain management intervention were able to tolerate the cold-pressor task longer than those in the control group. No effect was found for men. Subjective pain ratings were consistently lower during the cold-pressor task for subjects in the computerized pain-management group regardless of sex. Subjects receiving the computerized intervention reported feeling more comfortable and relaxed than control subjects during the cold-pressor task.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that further investigations of the program used in this study are warranted to determine its potential clinical utility and that of similar computerized interventions for pain.

Cognitive | Computer | Hypnosis | Imagery | Pain
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