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Use of behavioural activation to manage pain: A scoping review protocol

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-07-01, 05:10 authored by S Walsh, Martin JonesMartin Jones, Richard GrayRichard Gray, M Gillam, KM Gunn, T Barker, T Eshetie, GL Moseley
Introduction Chronic pain is a distressing condition and often poorly treated and managed. Psychological therapies are considered first-line intervention for people with chronic pain. Common psychological therapies require extensive clinician training and specialist qualifications. One approach that does not need lengthy training nor specialist qualification, but has empirical support in other health domains, is behavioural activation (BA). BA seeks to increase engagement in behaviours that are valued by the person and progress through behaviours that can increase mood and develop skills that build satisfying routines. BA can help people to manage their condition through scheduling behaviours, promoting routine and mastery over their condition. The extent to which BA has been used to support people living with chronic pain is not clear. Methods and analysis This scoping review aims to identify published studies describing the application of BA to support people living with chronic pain. To map the evidence regarding BA and chronic pain, including the study type and the associated evidence, a scoping review was adopted. The search will be conducted in bibliographic databases, clinical trial registries and grey literature. No date limits will be applied to the search strategy. Screening of titles and abstracts, and full-text screening, will be independently undertaken by two investigators using Covidence software. Any disagreement between investigators will be resolved by a third investigator. Data from included publications will be extracted using a customised data extraction tool. Ethics and dissemination The scoping review is an analysis of existing data and therefore ethics approval is not required. The findings of this scoping review will further our understanding of how BA has been used to support people living with chronic pain and inform future training and education programmes in this area.


Publication Date



BMJ Open






(p. e041036-e041036)





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