Trigeminal neuralgia is a painful neuralgia with a complicated pathology that is not clearly understood. Due to the ambiguity of the condition, patients often have to search for medical providers that specialize in trigeminal neuralgia, and even with the guidance of a specialist, some patients do not respond well to treatment.1 Despite the uncertainty surrounding the specifics of the disease, there are treatments available that can provide some level of pain relief for patients suffering from this disorder. When a patient does not respond well to medical therapy, surgery can be the next appropriate step in patient care management.2 However, while surgery can provide significant pain relief for patients who qualify, non-surgical treatments are needed during the interim, in the event of relapse, or for individuals who do not qualify for surgery. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a well-researched treatment for chronic pain resulting from various diseases and disabilities.3 A systematic literature review was performed to identify if CBT decreases pain and improves the quality of life for patients diagnosed with classical, secondary, or idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia. More research is needed, but there is promising evidence in the literature that cognitive behavioral therapy can be useful for patients with trigeminal neuralgia to help them cope with their pain. In addition, there may be evidence that, while somewhat effective alone, cognitive behavioral therapy may be more effective in conjunction with another treatment such as medication. These results are encouraging for patients suffering with the chronic pain of trigeminal neuralgia, and future studies should further investigate the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with trigeminal neuralgia.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Undergraduate Studies
Herzog, Linnea B., "Systematic Literature Review of Cognitive Behavioral Treatments for Patients with Classical, Secondary, and Idiopathic Trigeminal Neuralgia" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 868.