Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Exercise for Older Adults With Chronic Pain

  • End date
    Dec 30, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    The University of Hong Kong
Updated on 7 October 2022
chronic pain
depressive symptoms
acceptance and commitment therapy


The objective is to investigate on the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Exercise in:

(Primary outcomes)

  1. Increasing psychological flexibility
  2. Reducing pain interference
  3. Increasing quality of life
  4. Increasing physical functioning

(Secondary outcomes)

5. Reducing psychological distress - depression & anxiety


Chronic pain is classified as persistent or recurrent pain for more than 3 months associated with physical disability, depression and poor psychosocial functioning among older adults; causing a dependence on medication and decreasing their quality of life. There are various treatment options from chronic pain, but the benefits on pain outcomes are minimal and rather short term. Psychological interventions, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), have shown positive effect on older adults with chronic pain. Using the three core elements of psychological flexibility, older adults are encouraged to establish a different relationship with pain: 1) be present; 2) do what matters; and 3) open up. Growing studies are exploring the application of biopsychosocial model in pain management, using multidisciplinary interventions. This RCT aims to explore the effectiveness of combining ACT and exercise with two arms: 1) art and exercise; and 2) treatment as usual.

Condition Chronic Pain, Older Adults, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Exercise, Psychosocial Intervention, Art
Treatment Exercise, Treatment As Usual, ART, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05528536
SponsorThe University of Hong Kong
Last Modified on7 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

age 60 years or above; and
have depressive symptoms of mild level or above (PHQ > 5)
have chronic pain (>3 months)
able to give informed consent to participate

Exclusion Criteria

known history of autism, intellectual disability, schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, Parkinson's disease, or dementia
(temporary exclusion criteria) imminent suicidal risk difficulty in communication
have had stroke, fracture, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular surgery, artery disease, surgery on vertebrae, and knee replacement in the past 6 months
physical activity prohibited by a medical professional
Clear my responses

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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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