Internet-Delivered Treatment for Cancer-Related Pain: Development and Evaluation of a Psychological Flexibility Based Intervention

  • Perrin, S. (First/primary/lead supervisor)
  • Duarte, J. (Second supervisor)
  • Lance McCracken (Second supervisor)

Activity: Examination and supervisionSupervision of PhD students


More than 8,000 individuals are diagnosed with cancer each year in Sweden. Approximately 30-40% develop persistent pain as a consequence of either the cancer itself or the treatment. The presence of persistent, cancer-related pain is associated with increased feelings of fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and a fear of cancer relapse, all of which can significantly impact day-to-day functioning, quality of life, and engagement in long-term cancer treatments. Pharmacological interventions for pain are moderately effective in the short-term but are now recognized as ineffective for the management of chronic pain. The recommended first-line treatment for chronic pain generally is pain-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (PF-CBT), usually in a group format, and delivered as a part of a multidisciplinary day-treatment program in a specialist pain clinic. These treatment programs do not routinely accept accept individuals with cancer-related pain and have limited capacity to do so. There is also emerging evidence that traditional PF-CBT programs need to be modified to suit the needs of individuals with cancer-related pain, and so that the treatments can be delivered closer to where the patient lives, outside of specialist clinics. This program of research (ethical approval pending) has two primary aims: 1) using advanced sampling methods to better understand the relationship between psychological flexibility, pain and related experiences, and day-to-day functioning in adults with cancer-related pain; and 2) to develop and test, using sophisticated N-of-1 methodology, the efficacy of an internet-delivered pain-focused CBT intervention based on the psychological flexibility model adapted to the individual experiences of adults with cancer-related pain. The research forms the focus of the PhD studies of Frida Björkstrand (PhD Student, Dept of Psychology, Lund Univ). Her primary supervisor is Professor Sean Perrin (Department of Psychology, Lund Univ), with secondary supervision provided by Dr Joana Duarte (Dept of Psychology, Lund Univ) and Professor Lance McCracken (Dept of Psychology, Uppsala Univ).
Period2021 Aug 312025 Aug 31
Examinee/Supervised personFrida Björkstrand
Examination/Supervision held at
Degree of RecognitionNational

UKÄ subject classification

  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Free keywords

  • Cancer-related pain
  • cognitive behavioral treatment
  • treatment evaluation
  • psychological flexibility