I love research that can drive practical health outcomes to the general public. One interesting initiative being sponsored by the California Healthcare Foundation is using online cognitive behavioral therapy for managing and overcoming pain due to health issue.
“Chronic pain affects about 100 million American adults — more than those affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Despite treatments that include surgery, medication, rehabilitative and physical therapy, and complementary and alternative approaches, many people with chronic pain will never recover to the point where they are pain free.” CHCF.org
Research is showing that teaching patients how to cope with their personal responses to pain can help minimize pain's impact on their activities of daily living. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a psychotherapeutic approach that teaches techniques for recognizing and restructuring negative thoughts and behaviors, has been successfully used to help chronic pain sufferers in group and individual settings. CBT shows patients how to handle the social and psychological aspects of chronic pain, including depression, anger, and anxiety, while developing self-management skills like activity scheduling and good sleep habits to manage symptoms. The challenge in delivering CBT for chronic pain by therapists has limited availability to patients due to cost, provider availability, and reimbursement issues. To increase access to the psycho-educational aspects of CBT for chronic pain sufferers, CHCF is looking to mobile health and health IT to make it more accessible and timely.
Read more: California Healthcare Foundation