The Pain Course: Exploring the Feasibility of an Internet-delivered Pain Management Program When Offered by a Tertiary Pain Management Service

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Abstract

Background:

This study examined the acceptability and preliminary outcomes of an internet-delivered pain management program, the Pain Course, when offered by a specialist pain management clinic in a large public hospital.

Methods:

A single-group feasibility open-trial design was used and 39 patients participated in the program, which ran for 8 weeks. Participants were supported through the program with weekly contact from a Clinical Psychologist at the clinic.

Results:

All participants provided data at posttreatment and >90% of participants completed all 5 lessons of the course. High levels of satisfaction were observed and relatively little clinician time (M=71.99 min/participant; SD=32.82 min) was required to support patients through the program. Preliminary evidence of clinical improvements in depression symptoms (avg. improvement=38%; Cohen d=0.74), but not disability levels or anxiety symptoms, was observed in the overall sample. However, evidence of improvements was observed across all the primary outcomes among patients who had clinical levels of difficulties with disability (n=20; avg. improvement=11%; Cohen d=0.64), depression (n=17; avg. improvement=35%; Cohen d=1.24) and anxiety (n=8; avg. improvement=29%; Cohen d=0.57).

Conclusions:

These findings highlight the potential value of internet-delivered programs when provided by specialist pain management clinics as a part of their services and the value of larger scale studies in this area.

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