A Comparative Study of the Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Anxiety, Depression, and Physical Symptoms of Individuals Suffering from Chronic Pain

Transcranial direct current stimulation Acceptance and commitment therapy Depression Anxiety Chronic pain


  • Minoo Gueserse
    PhD Candidate in Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Psychosomatic Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Alireza Zali Professor of Neurosurgery, Functional Neurosurgery Research Center, Shohada Tajrish Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Saeid Hassanzadeh Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, School of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Mohammad Hatami Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Morvarid Ahadi Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, East Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Vol 9, No 1: 2022
Quantitative Study(ies)
November 27, 2021
February 23, 2022


Background: The present research was conducted to compare the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on anxiety, depression, and physical symptoms.

Methods: This research falls among semi-probationary plans, with a pretest-posttest design, two groups, and follow-up. The research statistical population included all male and female out-patients who referred to any treatment centers in Tehran, Iran, in the years 2019-2020 with a chronic pain complaint and received a definitive diagnosis of‎ chronic pain by neurologists and rheumatologists. In order to establish 3 groups using targeted sampling method (considering the inclusion and exclusion criteria), 30 patients were initially selected, and then, 15 patients were placed in the first experimental group and 15 patients in the second experimental group randomly. The research tools consisted of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) (1961), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) (1990), and Mcgill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ) (2007). Research data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA.

Results: The result of data analysis indicated that ACT and tDCS lead to a decrease in depression, anxiety, and physical symptoms. In addition, compared to tDCS, ACT had a more significant effect on reducing anxiety in individuals suffering from chronic pain (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Both ACT and tDCS had a significant effect on improving depression, anxiety, and physical symptoms in people with chronic pain. ACT was also more effective in reducing anxiety. However, there was no significant difference between ACT and tDCS in influencing depression and physical symptoms.