The Effectiveness of Attention Bias Modification with and without Trans Cranial Direct Current Stimulation in Chronic Low Back Pain

  • Yasaman Shiasy
  • Shima Shakiba
  • Farhad Taremian
  • Seyed Majid Akhavan Hejazi
  • Alireza Abasi
Keywords: Attention Bias Modification; Chronic Low Back Pain; Randomized Control Trial; Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation


Objective: The present study aimed to compare the effect of ABM (attention bias modification) with and without tDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation) on attention bias, pain intensity, and disability due to pain and pain-related psychological consequences, such as depression, anxiety, and stress.

Method: Using convenience sampling, 60 individuals who met the criteria for chronic low back pain (LBP) were selected and randomly assigned in to 2 experimental groups and 2 control and sham-tDCS groups. The experimental ABM group received 5 sessions of the dot-probe task, while the second experimental group received 5 sessions of dot-probe task combined with tDCS.

Results: The findings indicated that ABM and ABM+tDCS could reduce attention bias and pain-related psychological consequences significantly, compared to the control and sham groups. Also, attention bias and pain outcomes (depression, anxiety, disability due to pain and pain intensity) remained in ABM+tDCS group than in ABM group in a 1-month follow-up.

Conclusion: It was found that tDCS + ABM had no additional effects at the end of intervention, but led to more long-lasting effects in 1-month follow-up.

Randomized clinical trial registry number: IRCT20171107037306N1.