Access to face-to-face cognitive behavioral pain management programs is very limited. Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral pain management has potential to improve client access to care but is not readily available in Canada.
The present study explored the effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of a previously validated Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral pain management course, the Pain Course, when offered in a publicly funded provincial Online Therapy Clinic. The five-lesson course was delivered over 8 weeks and was accompanied by brief weekly contact from a coach via weekly telephone calls and secure online messages.
A single-group open trial design (ISRCTN15509834) was employed (n = 55). Effectiveness was assessed by examining symptom measures at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Completion rates and satisfaction ratings were used to examine acceptability. Feasibility was assessed by examining time required for service delivery.
Results were highly comparable to past studies of the Pain Course showing improvements on primary measures of disability (Cohen’s d = 0.45; 18% reduction), depression (Cohen’s d = 0.85; 36% reduction), and anxiety (Cohen’s d = 0.52; 32% reduction) at posttreatment that were maintained at follow-up. Completion rates (76%) and course satisfaction ratings (85% would recommend course) were high. Coach time per week was estimated as M = 12.67 (SD = 6.53) min.
The findings add to existing literature on the Pain Course demonstrating for the first time the effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral pain management programs for adults with chronic pain in a routine online therapy clinic.
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- chronic pain
- cognitive behavioral therapy