The Pain Course: 12- and 24-Month Outcomes From a Randomized Controlled Trial of an Internet-Delivered Pain Management Program Provided With Different Levels of Clinician Support

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Pain, 2018, 19 (12), pp. 1491 - 1503
Issue Date:
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© 2018 the American Pain Society Little is known about the long-term outcomes of emerging Internet-delivered pain management programs. The current study reports the 12- and 24-month follow-up data from a randomized controlled trial (n = 490) of an Internet-delivered pain management program, the Pain Course. The initial results of the trial to the 3-month follow-up have been reported elsewhere. There were significant improvements in disability, depression, anxiety, and pain levels across 3 treatment groups receiving different levels of clinician support compared with a treatment as the usual control. No marked or significant differences were found between the treatment groups either after treatment or at the 3-month follow-up. The current study obtained long-term follow-up data from 78% and 79% of participants (n = 397) at the 12-month and 24-month follow-up marks, respectively. Clinically significant decreases (average percent reduction; Cohen's d effect sizes) were maintained at the 12- and 24-month follow-ups for disability (average reduction ≥27%; d ≥.67), depression (average reduction ≥36%; d ≥.80), anxiety (average reduction ≥38%; d ≥.66), and average pain levels (average reduction ≥21%; d ≥.67). No marked or consistent differences were found among the 3 treatment groups. These findings suggest that the outcomes of Internet-delivered programs may be maintained over the long term. Perspective: This article presents the long-term outcome data of an established Internet-delivered pain management program for adults with chronic pain. The clinical improvements observed during the program were found to be maintained at the 12- and 24-month follow-up marks. This finding indicates that these programs can have lasting clinical effects.
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