When carrying out the study, a couple of web based tutorials for pain management were tested by researchers on adults that had been experiencing the symptoms for a period of over six months. No matter the amount of contact the patients had with the clinicians, a significant reduction in anxiety, disability and average levels of pain were experienced when the experiment that lasted eight weeks came to an end.

Benefiting from online pain management programs

While programs that involve managing pain face to face are actually important, most chronic pain sufferers can greatly benefit from the online delivered programs and not much contact is essentially needed with the clinician for them to benefit. Patients were recruited online by the researchers with the group being whittled down to 490 people who had their pain assessed by a doctor within the past 3 months, didn’t have any psychotic illnesses as well as severe depression and were able to access the internet and a computer regularly. Those who participated in the group were categorized into three groups for treatment to receive the internet based tutorials.

This was availed alongside their regular contact with the clinicians during the study period, contact with the provider on optional basis or simply no contact at all. The fourth control group in the study was told that they were waiting for their internet program and just continued with their normal treatment with doctors.

The impressing findings of the experiment

By the time the eight weeks came to an end, the patients in treatment had at least 18% reduction in their disability, 32 percent anxiety, 12% typical pain levels and 36% for depression. After a period of three months, there was a sustained improved but no major difference existed between intervention groups and the amount of contact between the people and their clinicians. Besides, those people in the treatment group had their anxiety, disability and depression significantly reduced unlike those waiting for online courses. The study had one major limitation though in that the researchers never examined the therapies that those in control group were getting as they continued to receive ‘treatment as usual’. As such, it is not possible to know whether people in this group might have recovered in case no treatment was availed.

In addition, since all those who participated in the study were to join a symptom management program based on the web, there was a possibility of different results among those who didn’t come for the kind of care. There was also a possibility that if the group was followed up for more than three months, there would be the emergence of more differences between the groups being treated. Speaking in a broader aspect, this might perhaps be the most critical info that patients using the online pain management program would ever get.