Implementation of a Virtual Chronic Pain Education Intervention: The use of an online module to enhance patient reach and accessibility
Maternal, Child & Mental Health
One in five Canadians suffer from chronic pain. There is no cure; there are long wait times for services; and there are many barriers to chronic pain self-management support and resources. Improving access to chronic pain education through online programming has the potential to reduce the geographic disparities in access to care that exist in Canada. The output of this project included the development and wide-spread dissemination of online of evidence-based chronic pain neuroscience education and self-management content. Over the span of this project, our Pain U program was accessed 29,542 times, by 18,943 people, and reached over 50 countries. Our innovation can be used as an educational tool that provides tangible evidence-based strategies to promote chronic pain self-management and can be leveraged by health care practitioners to support clinical care. Furthermore, the online modules enhance public awareness around the need to holistically approach chronic pain care.
One in five Canadians suffer from chronic pain. For the majority of those with chronic pain, this pain is longstanding (more than 10 years) and severe. People who experience chronic pain face many challenges as there is no cure. Self-management of chronic conditions is increasingly recognized as a critical strategy for improving health outcomes, but access to chronic pain self-management resources is difficult for many patients. The goals of this project were to 1) create an online pain education platform, 2) to test a series of strategies to support wide-spread dissemination and engagement and to, 3) understand the acceptability of virtual compared to in-person delivery of pain education. This project led to the successful creation of Pain U, a series of 20 online evidence-based pain neuroscience education modules. Module topics include pain education, goal setting, stress management, physical activity, pacing and more. Over the span of this project, our Pain U program was accessed 29,542 times, by 18,943 people, and reached over 50 countries.
The output of this project included the development and wide-spread dissemination of online chronic pain education and self-management content. This innovation lays the foundation for a better public awareness around the need for holistic approaches chronic pain care and provides tangible strategies, resources, and tools to support pain management.
Pain U online has been recognized as a valued evidence-based resource that has been leveraged by Health Canada funded national pain organizations including Pain Canada and the Power over Pain Portal to further promote and enhance pain education across the country, demonstrating leadership in the dissemination of knowledge across the health system. Future plans for this project include continuing to refine and update the Pain U materials and fostering future partnerships to further enhance the dissemination of this program.