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Developing and Implementing an Innovative Methodology for Evaluating Participant Engagement in Technology-based Behavioral Health Interventions

Funding Source

National Institute on Drug Abuse – Center for Technology and Behavioral Health Pilot Core

Project Period

September 2013 – August 2014

Principal Investigator

Honoria Guarino, PhD

Other Project Staff

Sarah K. Moore, PhD (Consultant/Co-Investigator); Andrew Rosenblum, PhD, (Co-Investigator); Lisa A. Marsch, PhD (Co-Investigator)

Project Summary

The overarching goal of the pilot study is to better understand the process of engagement in technology-based behavioral health interventions, as evidenced through the experiences of chronic pain patients who are participating in a research evaluation of a web-delivered, self-management program for chronic pain. As the study of engagement in e-Health tools is only now beginning to emerge, this research promises to collect novel, fine-grained data of significant interest to program developers, researchers, and clinicians working in the e-Health arena.

Specifically, this study will develop an innovative and systematic interview- and observation-based methodology for investigating users’ experiences with technology-based behavioral health interventions and utilize this methodology to assess a range of factors (including physical, psychosocial and contextual) that influence chronic pain patients’ differential levels of engagement in the web-based program and the extent to which they are motivated to utilize the program’s self-management techniques. Semi-structured interviews with pain specialty clinicians will help determine, from the perspective of providers who treat chronic pain patients, specific program features and delivery model(s) for a technology-based behavioral intervention that would add optimal value to their management of chronic pain.