The Pain Course: exploring the feasibility of an internet-delivered pain management programme for adults with spinal cord injury

B. F. Dear*, K. Nicholson Perry, P. Siddall, J. W. Middleton, J. Johnson, L. Katte, F. Monypenny, E. Karin, M. Gandy, N. Titov

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Study design: Single-group feasibility clinical trial. Objectives: This study examined the feasibility and outcomes of a modified version of a validated internet-delivered pain management programme, the Pain Course, for adults with SCI. Setting: Nationwide in Australia. Methods: Sixty-eight adults participated in the programme, which comprises five online lessons and homework tasks that are systematically released over 8 weeks. Participants were supported through the course with weekly contact from a clinical psychologist. Results: Eighty-five percent of participants provided data at post-treatment and 76% of participants completed all five lessons of the course. High levels of satisfaction were observed and relatively little clinician time (M = 93.16 min; SD = 52.76 min) was required per participant to provide the course. Preliminary evidence of clinical improvements in pain-related disability (ds ≥ 0.53.; avg. improvement ≥ 20%; Mdiff ≥ 7.77), depression (ds ≥ 0.44.; avg. improvement ≥ 24%; Mdiff ≥ 2.44), anxiety (ds ≥ 0.41.; avg. improvement ≥ 26%; Mdiff ≥ 1.8) and average pain intensity (ds ≥ 0.46.; avg. improvement ≥ 13%; Mdiff ≥ 0.71) were observed at post-treatment, which were maintained or further improved to 3-month follow-up. These improvements were reflected in overall improvements in self-reported satisfaction with life (ds ≥ 0.31; avg. improvement ≥ 25%; Mdiff ≥ 2.16) Conclusion: These findings highlight the potential of carefully developed internet-delivered interventions as an approach for overcoming barriers and increasing access to psychosocial care for adults with SCI. Sponsorship: iCare Lifetime Care and Support Authority and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)931–939
    Number of pages9
    JournalSpinal Cord
    Issue number10
    Early online date31 May 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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