Brief Cognitive Interventions for Burn Pain

J. A. Haythronthwaite
J. W. Lawrence
J. A. Fauerbach


This study tested the efficacy of 2 brief cognitive interventions in supplementing regular medical treatment for pain during burn dressing change. Forty-two burn inpatients were randomly assigned to 3 groups: sensory focusing, music distraction, and usual care. Patients reported pain, pain relief satisfaction with pain control, and pain coping strategies. The sensory focusing group reported greater pain relief compared to the music distraction group and a reduction in remembered pain compared to the usual care group, although group differences were not observed on serial pain ratings. In addition, after controlling for burn size and relevant covariates, regression analyses indicated that catastrophizing predicted pain, memory for pain, and satisfaction with pain control. Refinement of the sensory focusing intervention is warranted to reduce catastrophic thinking and improve pain relief