Psychological Research in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain (ÀGORA Group)

Research Program


Where we are

Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu

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Our group conducts patient-centred research, which is invaluable insofar as it can be translated into clinical practice. Our main focus is on the economic evaluation of psychological and pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia and chronic pain, on the neurobiological basis of chronic pain and on psychometric aspects of the measures usually administered to these patients.

More specifically, the ÀGORA Group is interested in studying which treatments are effective and cost-effective for patients with chronic pain, identifying the specific patient profile (clusters) in which these treatments are most effective and how they act cognitively, emotionally and physiologically.

Several of our members, including the group leader, belong to the Network for Research in Preventive Activities and Health Promotion in Primary Care (ISCIII; RD16/0007/0012) and the group is recognised and receives funding as an emerging group from AGAUR (Government of Catalonia; 2017 SGR 667).

Research lines

  1. Evaluation of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different psychological and pharmacological treatments for the management of fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
  2. Analysis of the role of neuroimaging variables (structural, functional, perfusion and spectroscopy) and inflammatory variables (pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines) in predicting responses to the treatments under evaluation.
  3. Development and psychometric validation of patient-reported outcomes (PRO).
  4. Mindfulness, health and quality of life. This line of psychosocial research aims to assess the therapeutic potential of community activities (effect of the Camino de Santiago on mental health and quality of life; assessing well-being associated with implementation of a green roof system in homes for the elderly).

Scientific objectives

  1. To analyse the efficiency of third-generation psychological treatments and innovative pharmacological treatments for patients with chronic pain.
  2. To develop and validate "psychological process variables" and pinpoint which psychological constructs are involved in the response to treatment.
  3. To analyse the brain from a structural and functional point of view concerning the areas that predict the response to treatments as well as those likely to undergo changes as a result of the therapy.
  4. To analyse the role of psychoneuroimmunological variables in the prediction and mediation of treatment outcomes.

Area/Field of expertise

The research carried out by the group is part of the study of the clinical, economic, psychobiological and social aspects of diseases with chronic non-malignant pain, especially musculoskeletal pain. The main objective is to study the cost-effectiveness of pain control therapy and the role of psychological, biological and social variables that act as predictors and/or mediators of therapeutic change. The methodology generally employed is the conduct of randomised controlled clinical trials, although we also have experience in meta-analysis and psychometric assessment.

With the aim of conducting successful research in fibromyalgia and chronic pain, we have a multidisciplinary team (five psychologists -one also a health biologist-, a statistician, a rheumatologist, an anaesthetist and a GP) made up of researchers and professionals from Sant Joan de Déu Health Park  and other academic or clinical institutions in our territory.

In recent years and in various different projects, we have evaluated the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia and major depression, thanks primarily to yearly funding from ISCIII. Our group is defined as a "dry lab" that seeks to contribute significantly to knowledge about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the effects of therapies for chronic pain.

Group members

Last Publications

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Project name:
Contrato Miguel Servet Tipo II_Beneficiario: Juan Vicente Luciano
Juan Vicente Luciano Devis
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Starting - finishing date:
2020 - 2023
Project name:
Coste-utilidad y efectos fisiológicos de la Terapia de Aceptáción y Compromiso y la Activación Conductual en pacientes con dolor crónico y depresión mayor comórbida (Proyecto IMPACT)
Juan Vicente Luciano Devis
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Starting - finishing date:
2020 - 2022
Project name:
Efectos del peregrinaje en el Camino de Santiago sobre el bienestar psicológico y la salud mental Proyecto ULTREYA
Albert Feliu Soler
Funding entities:
Xunta de Galicia
Starting - finishing date:
2019 - 2020
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  • Anàlisi del cost-efectivitat i cost-utilitat d´un programa psico-educatiu implementat en atenció primària de salut per a la millora de l´estat funcional i la qualitat de vida dels pacients amb fibromiàlgia (projecte FIBROQOL).
    Cardeñosa Valera, Eugenia
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