The Research Council of Norway: Project #256574
Chronic pain seriously affects public health. In Norway, as much as 30% of the adult population experiences moderate to severe chronic pain, and chronic pain is the most common reason for sick leave and disability pension. National authorities, health care personnel and patients alike are calling for new and efficient ways to improve health care for this large population, a call that this study aims to answer.
A growing body of research supports the efficacy of eHealth interventions in contributing to successful self-management of chronic illness. However, more research is needed to establish evidence and effectiveness of eHealth interventions for people with chronic pain. There is also a gap in knowledge related to user perspectives in designing eHealth interventions, and factors facilitating intervention implementation.
Closing this gap is vital, and the project aims to do so through developing, testing and evaluating a person centered interactive eHealth intervention to support self-management for people with chronic pain. The project goal will be reached through;
- Designing and pilot-testing an e-health intervention for people with chronic pain
- Employing a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the intervention in comparison with a control group
- Evaluating for sustained use of the intervention through qualitative examinations, cost-benefit analyses and implementation explorations.
The eHealth intervention EPIO (from the Greek goddess for the soothing of pain) was developed based on existing evidence, utilizing a person-centered approach and undergoing iterative process, with close collaborations between researchers, system developers, health care providers and patient representatives. The EPIO intervention was tested in a pilot study in 2019 and is currently being tested in an ongoing randomized controlled trial.
The research team is well prepared for this project, and the alliance of interdisciplinary experts from leading national and international research centers, in close collaboration with user representatives, facilitates high quality science from development to testing and preparation for implementation. If effective, the EPIO intervention has the potential to contribute to better health care, reduced societal burden and most importantly to improved quality of life for people living with chronic pain.