Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Ray

Second Advisor

Dr. Chase Hale

Third Advisor

Dr. Tammy Sheehy

Degree Award Date

Fall 2022


Chronic pain, pain, neuroscience, neurophysiology, education, PNE, biopsychosocial, explain pain, pain neuroscience education, therapeutic neuroscience education, meta-Analysis


Kinesiotherapy | Other Rehabilitation and Therapy | Physical Therapy | Physiotherapy | Recreational Therapy | Sports Sciences


Objective: A narrative review (NR) of meta-analyses (MA) and systematic reviews (SR) that assess the effectiveness or efficacy of pain neuroscience education (PNE) on various outcome measures in individuals with chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) pain. Methods: This was a mixed methodology review involving systematic searches across 4 databases (PubMed, ScienceDirect, CENTRAL (Cochrane), and Google Scholar). Inclusion criteria stipulated MAs and SRs that assessed the effectiveness or efficacy of PNE on CP population. Quantitative eligibility criteria included randomized controlled trials (RCTs), adults (18+ years of age), English or Spanish speaking individuals, and reporting of chronic pain (persistent or recurrent pain lasting ≥ 3 months). Qualitative eligibility criteria included individuals reporting chronic pain and experienced a PNE intervention. Two reviewers screened 9,760 articles via COVIDENCE. 11 reviews met inclusion criteria and underwent full text review, specifically examining methodology and outcomes. Conclusions: This narrative review, including 11 reviews, emphasizes the need for further research pertaining to the efficacy and effectiveness of PNE utilization in healthcare. Each of these reviews are laced with varying levels of heterogeneity or low-quality evidence. Additionally, it remains unknown which information is pertinent to be included with PNE to achieve desired outcomes and belief reconceptualization. This is the result of a lack of thorough research and evaluation of PNE due to its recent establishment within healthcare. An updated systematic review should be performed that includes recently published literature with broad inclusion criteria to obtain a full-picture perspective of PNE.

Recommended Citation

Keller, Aidan, Ray, B. Michael, Baugher, Taylor. “PNE – lots of talk, superficial results.” Junior Honors Projects, Bridgewater College, 2022.

Force Open Access