Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Accepted version

Boyle, G. J., & Ciccone, V. M. (1994). Relaxation alone and in combination with rational emotive therapy: Effects on mood and pain. The Pain Clinic, 7, 253-265.

Access the journal (ceased publication 2007)




This quasi-experimental study investigates the effects of relaxation compared to relaxation combined with rational emotive therapy on mood states and pain. Subjects were 34 middle-aged and elderly chronic pain sufferers (26 women, eight men; mean age of 61.06 years). The relaxation group was given training in progressive muscle relaxation with guided imagery, while the relaxation with rational emotive therapy group participated in exercises to dispute irrational cognitions in favour of counter-cognitions that were more adaptive to pain. The Profile of Mood States (POMS) and visual analogue scale provided self-report data on mood and pain, respectively. Only subjects in the relaxation with rational emotive therapy group exhibited significant change following treatment - specifically, reductions in tension-anxiety, fatigue-inertia, and depression-dejection measures of the POMS scale. However, no comparable change was found in visual analogue scale ratings of pain for either group. The relative efficacy of relaxation with rational emotive therapy over relaxation alone in the improvement of mood can be explained by the fact that chronic pain patients typically experience affective distress, and rational emotive therapy by design, targets the cognitions responsible for such affective distress.



This document has been peer reviewed.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.