Chronic pain patients may be able to leverage online tools to manage their symptoms, a new study published in Pain suggests.
The study researchers noted that no matter how much contact patients had with clinicians, there was a significant reduction in disability, anxiety and average pain levels when they used a web-based management program both at the end of the experiment and several months down the line.
Researchers tested a series of web-based pain management tutorials on a group of adults who had been dealing with chronic pain symptoms for more than six months.
Patients for the study were recruited online. Researchers narrowed the group down to 490 adults who had seen a doctor to assess their pain within the past three months. These adults also had no psychotic illnesses or severe depression and had regular access to a computer and the internet.
Participants were divided into three treatment groups These groups received the web-based tutorials along with regular contact with clinicians during the study, optional contact with providers or no contact.
Researchers told a fourth control group that they were wait-listed for the online program and carried on their usual treatment with their doctors.
The regular contact group had an average of 68 minutes of contact with clinicians over the treatment period, compared with 13 minutes for the optional contact group and about five minutes for the group with only emergency contact.
Chronic pain patients may be able to use online tools to manage their symptoms, lessening the need for frequent doctor visits, a new study suggests.
Researchers tested a series of Web-based pain management tutorials on a group of adults who had been suffering symptoms for more than six months.