Category: Treatment - CBT

Symposium

Qualitative Methods to Examine Contributors of the Effectiveness of the Learning About My Pain Intervention

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Cobalt 501, Level 5, Cobalt Level

Keywords: Pain | Randomized Controlled Trial | Psychotherapy Outcome
Presentation Type: Symposium

Background: Qualitative methods can expose aspects of treatment effectiveness and the value of the intervention to its recipients. To illustrate the success of literacy-adapted psychosocial treatments for chronic pain in a low-SES population, this study examined patient’s perspectives to identify key factors related to their participation in the Learning About My Pain (LAMP) intervention.


Methods: Participants were randomized to receive cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or pain education (EDU). 15-30 minute interviews were conducted at the end of the 10-week intervention. 30 semi-structured interviews from each group were selected for analyses using Atlas.ti. An inductive thematic approach used to identify patterned meaning across the interviews. Three research team members coded the same interview until a coding list was agreed upon. Next, all interviews were coded independently and compared for theme interpretation.


Results: Participants identified the group format to be a therapeutic opportunity to meet other patients with similar experiences, providing validation, social support, and an opportunity for patients to motivate each other. In addition to non-treatment factors, participants in both conditions noted the value of the patient workbook and audio CDs, and specifically, the gate control of theory of pain as an important aspect of the intervention. Patients in the CBT condition also referred to the relaxation exercises and CDs as important tools for pain management.


Conclusion: Non-treatment factors, as well as the adaptation of materials, suggest that the modifications were appropriate and well received, which contributed to patients’ engagement. This study highlights the value of qualitative approaches to better understand how aspects of the intervention and key treatment factors are experienced by its recipients and contribute to the effectiveness of the trial. More studies should employ qualitative methods to develop a comprehensive understanding of potentials factors underlying treatment effects and generate hypotheses about causal mechanism that are associated with study outcomes.

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