Deakin University

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A Systematic Review of Chronic Pain Management Interventions Among Veterans of Recent Wars and Armed Conflicts

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-09, 02:35 authored by R Lakshman, Emily TomlinsonEmily Tomlinson, Tracey BucknallTracey Bucknall
Objectives: To identify chronic pain management strategies aimed to reduce pain intensity and enhance functional outcomes in veterans of wars and armed conflict. Design: Systematic review without meta-analysis. Data Sources: Key words “chronic pain,” “veterans,” and “injuries” were used to search for articles in the MEDLINE, CINAHL, APA PsycInfo, and Embase databases. Articles published in English between 2000 and 2023 were included. Review/analysis methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in June 2020, updated in April 2023, and managed using Covidence review software. Inclusion criteria focused on combat-injured veterans with chronic pain, excluding nonveterans and civilians treated for acute or chronic pain. Data from included studies were extracted, summarized, and critically appraised using the 2018 Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. This review is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020207435). Results: Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria, with 10 of them supporting nonpharmacological approaches for managing chronic pain among veterans of armed conflicts and wars. Interventions included psychological/behavioral therapies, peer support, biofeedback training via telephone-based therapy, manual therapy, yoga, cognitive processing therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and social and community integration to reduce pain intensity and enhance functional outcomes. Conclusion: Nonpharmacological treatments for chronic pain have increased in recent years, a shift from earlier reliance on pharmacological treatments. More evidence from randomized controlled trials on the benefits of combined pain interventions could improve pain management of veterans with complex care needs.



Pain Management Nursing




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal