Interactive Voice Response (IVR)-Based Treatment for Chronic Low Back Pain

2014-08-27 03:17:31 | BioPortfolio


The proposed study will test how well an innovative method, interactive voice response (IVR), can be used for delivering an treatment for chronic low back pain. The use of IVR will improve the accessibility of treatment to veterans. IVR is a computerized interface that allows patients to use their telephone to: 1) obtain pre-recorded didactic information, 2) report data regarding pain-related symptoms and adherence to pain coping skill practice, and 3) receive personalized therapist feedback. Although CBT has been shown to be effective in reducing pain intensity, traditional CBT requires patients to make frequent office visits. The use of IVR will allow veterans to access CBT from their home via a touch-tone telephone, thereby allowing them to access treatment at their convenience without travel to the VA for an outpatient appointment. Veterans with chronic low back pain will be randomized in equal numbers to receive either standard CBT or IVR-based CBT. Veterans in both conditions will receive 10 session of treatment designed to help them manage their chronic pain using pain coping skills. The primary outcome measure will be pain intensity.


OBJECTIVES: The primary purpose of this study is to test the efficacy of an innovative method, interactive voice response (IVR), for delivering an empirically validated psychological (cognitive behavior therapy [CBT]) treatment for chronic pain in order to improve access and sustainability of this intervention. The primary clinical equivalence hypothesis states that veterans with chronic low back pain (CLBP) receiving IVR-based CBT (ICBT) will demonstrate, relative to standard face-to-face CBT (CBT), equivalent declines in reports of pain intensity as measured by the numeric rating scale at post-treatment and follow-up. The secondary hypothesis states that veterans with CLBP receiving ICBT, relative to CBT, will demonstrate equivalent declines in reports of pain-related interference and emotional distress at post-treatment and follow-up.

RESEARCH DESIGN: A randomized design will be employed in which standard CBT (CBT) is compared to an Interactive CBT (ICBT) treatment condition. Participants will be randomized in equal numbers to both conditions. Repeated assessments of key outcome domains will occur at pretreatment/baseline and at 3 and 6 months following baseline.

METHODOLOGY: Subjects will be 128 patients receiving care at the VACHS who report chronic low back pain. The primary criteria for inclusion are constant pain of at least three months duration with at least a moderate level of average pain (i.e., scores of 4 or greater on a 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain imaginable) on a numerical rating scale of average pain. All patients must have access to a touch-tone telephone. Excluded will be patients with life threatening or acute physical illness, current alcohol or substance abuse or dependence, current psychosis, suicidal ideation dementia, and individuals seeking surgical pain treatment. Comprehensive evaluations will be conducted at each assessment interval. Following completion of written consent and an initial baseline evaluation, participants will be randomized to one of the two treatments. Sessions will be audiotaped to ensure the fidelity of the face-to-face CBT sessions and the personalized therapist feedback in the IVR-based CBT condition. Both conditions will involve 10 outpatient therapy sessions with a psychologist trained experienced in the delivery of these treatments. Adherence to coping skill practice will be assessed using IVR for both treatment groups. Analysis of primary and secondary outcome measures will employ mixed-effects models, which will account for the clustering induced by repeated measures on individual patients.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Chronic Low Back Pain


Face to face cognitive behavior therapy, IVR based cognitive behavioral therapy


950 Campbell Avenue
West Haven
United States


Not yet recruiting


Department of Veterans Affairs

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:17:31-0400

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