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Tag: chronic pain

Feasibility and acceptability of using smartphone-based EMA to assess patterns of prescription opioid and medical cannabis use among individuals with chronic pain

Anderson Goodell EM, Nordeck C, Finan PH, Vandrey R, Dunn KE, & Thrul J. (2021). Feasibility and acceptability of using smartphone-based EMA to assess patterns of prescription opioid and medical cannabis use among individuals with chronic pain. Internet Interventions: the Application of Information Technology in Mental and Behavioural Health, 26, 100460–100460.

This paper described the feasibility and acceptability of a smartphone-based Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) data collection tool among people who use multiple substances and suffer from chronic pain. Forty-six participants were recruited through targeted Facebook and Instagram advertisements and completed screening via the link in the ads. Eligible participants had an opioid medication prescription, current opioid use, a pain disorder, and a referral for medical cannabis. Participants completed prompted EMA surveys on a mobile app for 30 days. Surveys included questions about opioid medication use, medical cannabis use, and pain symptoms. Participants were prompted to respond to four randomly timed surveys (assessing the past hour) and one daily diary per day. A subsample of 10 participants completed qualitative interviews. On average, participants responded to 70% of past-hour surveys and 92% of daily diaries. During qualitative interviews, participants reported an overall positive experience, but identified some issues related to smartphone notifications, redundant questions, or being prompted to complete assessments when they do not feel well. Findings demonstrate the feasibility and general acceptability of using this methodology for examining patterns of medical cannabis and prescription opioid medication use among individuals with chronic pain. Engagement with the digital tool over the 30-day duration was comparable to previous work. This study has implications for informing larger-scale epidemiology studies, interventions, and assessments on a wider geographic scale.


Clinical Trial to Test Wearable Device as Treatment for Chronic Pain, Opioid Withdrawal

Article Excerpt: A multi-year clinical trial at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) will examine the use of a wearable device thought to stimulate nerves near the ear to change signals in the brain as a treatment for chronic pain and opioid tapering. The trial, known as tANdem, is being funded by an $8.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and is designed to provide an understanding of the mechanistic, neurophysiological and antinociceptive effects of transcutaneous auricular neurostimulation (tAN), which has been shown to reduce pain and the symptoms of withdrawal.

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Article Source: Investors Observer


How Virtual Reality Is Solving Some Real Health Care Problems

Article Excerpt: Virtual reality is becoming a real-world health tool for everything from chronic pain and behavioral health problems on Earth to medical training for astronauts in space… Like the entire VR industry, health care’s version has made significant strides in recent years. Gone are the cheesy graphics and poor user experience of even just a few years ago, companies told Axios at the HLTH Conference in Las Vegas this week.
“When people say, ‘Yeah, it’s been many years since they’ve tried VR,’ it’s like, ‘No, you haven’t tried VR,'” said Luke Farkas, director of brand and marketing at BehaVR, a Kentucky-based company focused on behavioral health.

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Article Source: Axios


Can Virtual Reality Help Ease Chronic Pain?

Article Excerpt: Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of long-term disability in the world. By some measures, 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, in part because the power of medicine to relieve it remains inadequate. Helen Ouyang, a physician and contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, explores the potentially groundbreaking use of virtual reality in the alleviation of acute pain, as well as anxiety and depression, and meets the doctors and entrepreneurs who believe this “nonpharmacological therapy” is a good alternative to prescription drugs. Ouyang explains virtual reality’s rise as an unlikely tool for solving the “intractable problem” of pain, but she also highlights those set to benefit financially from the treatment: The virtual reality sector in health care alone is, according to some estimates, already valued at billions of dollars, and is expected to grow by multiples of that in the next few years.

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Article Source: The New York Times Magazine


Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of videoconference-based integrated cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain: Randomized controlled trial

Taguchi K, Numata N, Takanashi R, Takemura R, Yoshida T, Kutsuzawa K, Yoshimura K, Nozaki-Taguchi N, Ohtori S, Shimizu E. (2021). Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of videoconference-based integrated cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain: Randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res 2021;23(11):e30690. DOI: 10.2196/30690

Researchers conducted a study to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a 16-session cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program delivered through video calls for the management of chronic pain. 30 participants with chronic pain were randomly assigned to the CBT program or treatment as usual (continued outpatient consultations). The CBT program included 16 weekly videoconference sessions with a therapist and covered sessions on psychoeducation on pain, relaxation exercises, cognitive reconstruction, tactile attention-shift training, memory work, behavioral image training, and video feedback. Participants completed assessments at baseline, mid-intervention, and post-intervention to measure change in pain intensity, pain severity, pain interference, mental health, quality of life and cost utility. There was no significant difference in changes in pain intensity between the two groups. However, the treatment group reported significant improvement in pain interference and quality of life. Additionally, it was found that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for a year was estimated at 2.9 million yen (or 25,000 USD) per quality-adjusted life year gained. Findings indicate that a video-conference CBT treatment protocol can be a beneficial supplement to medical treatment for chronic pain. There was some support for the cost-efficiency of this telehealth intervention, but this result needs to be verified with a larger sample.