The effectiveness of an electronic pain management programme for the working population with chronic pain: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Shuk Kwan Tang, Mimi Mun Yee Tse, Sau Fong Leung, Theofanis Fotis

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    Background: Chronic pain is highly prevalent in the working population. People tend to attempt self-initiated treatments to manage their pain. The self-efficacy of behavioural change is a suitable model for guiding the development of an electronic pain management programme (ePain). The aim in this study is to develop ePain and to evaluate its effectiveness at improving pain self-efficacy, reducing pain intensity and negative emotions, and increasing quality of life. Methods: This study will be a randomized controlled trial. ePain will take the form of a 6-week online pain management programme. Participants will be aged 15 years or above, have chronic pain, and be employed. They must complete the baseline questionnaire and will be randomized into intervention and control groups. They will receive notifications to encourage their participation in ePain and complete the evaluation questionnaires. They will complete the process evaluation at week 3, the post assessment at week 6, and the follow-up assessment at week 12. The study will focus on pain self-efficacy; pain situations; negative emotions including levels of depression, anxiety, and stress; and quality of life. The participants' opinions of ePain will be collected as feedback. Data will be analysed on an intention-to-treat basis and generalized estimating equations will be used to investigate the time-averaged difference and differences at each follow-up time. Discussion: The study will provide information about the pain situations of online users in the working population. The participants will benefit from improvements in pain self-efficacy, pain situations, emotional status, and quality of life. The study will illustrate whether online learning is an effective intervention for improving the pain self-efficacy of the working population. Trial registration:, NCT03718702. Registered on 23 October 2018.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number421
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2020

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    • Chronic pain
    • eHealth
    • Electronic pain management programme
    • ePain
    • Pain management
    • Working population


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