A newly developed Web-based platform designed to empower patients with chronic pain and provide them with self-management tools was found to improve self-efficacy and treatment satisfaction when administered in conjunction with nurse and social worker coaching, according to a study published in The Journal of Pain. This program has also been found to improve activity engagement and lessen pain intensity.

In this controlled nonrandomized study, researchers tested the efficacy of PainTracker Self-Manager, a Web-based chronic pain empowerment and self-management platform. A total of 99 patients with a number of chronic pain conditions who were at an early treatment stage were assigned to receive usual care (n=48; control) or to use the PainTracker in addition to usual care (n=51). All participants were asked to fill out surveys to assess pain self-efficacy, pain acceptance, pain, pain interference, satisfaction with treatment, and efficacy of interaction with physician.

Patients who used the PainTracker Self-Manager experienced greater improvements over time in pain self-efficacy (P =.023) and satisfaction with pain treatment (P =.048) compared with participants in the control group. For the 82 patients who completed the study, significant group x time interactions were established for pain self-efficacy (P =.019), activity engagement (P =.034), and pain intensity and interference (P =.048).

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Because of the limited sample used in this study, researchers were unable to generalize results to the wider chronic pain population. In addition, the study was not a randomized trial, and thus results might have been subject to potential bias as a result of sequential recruitment.

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“The results of this pilot study provide preliminary evidence that a Web-based [Acceptance and Commitment Therapy]-derived education and assessment tool for chronic pain, PainTracker Self-Manager, in combination with nurse or social worker phone coaching, is effective at improving pain self-efficacy, activity engagement, pain intensity and interference, and treatment satisfaction in specialty clinic patients with chronic pain,” concluded the study authors.

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Sullivan M, Langford DJ, Stitzlein Davies P, et al. Controlled pilot trial of PainTracker Self-Manager, a Web-based platform combined with patient coaching, to support patients’ self-management of chronic pain [published online March 29, 2018]. J Pain. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2018.03.009