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. https://www.jmir.org/2021/11/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.