New Model for Couple Therapy for Patients with Chronic Pain and their Caregivers: An Attempt to Improve Quality of Life and Reduce Pain

Shima Rouhi1, *, Payman Dadkhah2, Manijeh Firoozi3, Masoud Hashemi4
1 Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Anesthesiology, Fellowship in Pain Management, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Health Psychology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
4 Program Director of Pain Fellowship, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

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© 2020 Rouhi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran; E-mail:



Several psychological interventions have been implemented to manage chronic pain. In this study, in addition to the patients, his/her spouses have participated in the program. Besides, this innovative therapy integrates several practical approaches into one comprehensive protocol.


This study aimed to analyze the effectiveness of couple therapy (patient/caregiver-oriented) on improving the quality of life and reducing pain among patients with chronic pain.


The present study is a quasi-experimental and clinical trial with a control group with pretest and posttest. The authors conducted this study at LABAFINEJAD Hospital in Tehran on 30 patients with chronic pain and their spouses by having a short form of a questionnaire for quality of life and chronic pain score questionnaire to measure the effectiveness of the treatment.


The results indicated that this treatment increased two aspects of quality of life remarkably, social function and strength for continuing the performance; that help boosts interpersonal relationships as well. Regarding the results, although the couple-based treatment could improve all aspects of pain, the two primary subscales, physical health and mental health, both enhanced. Besides, the treatment reduced the intensity of pain.


Couple-based intervention through increasing social support, improving the quality of sex, decentralizing of pain, and paying attention to the neglected needs of caregivers and patients with chronic pain can improve quality of life and reduce pain in patients.

Keywords: Chronic pain, Psychological treatment, Acceptance and commitment therapy, Mindfulness, Quality of life, Pain.