The effectiveness of an online mind-body intervention for older adults with chronic pain

J Pain. 2009 Jan;10(1):68-79. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2008.07.006. Epub 2008 Sep 5.


The Self-care Pain Management Project assessed the feasibility and efficacy of delivering online mind-body self-care techniques to 78 adults aged 55 and older with chronic pain. To assess feasibility, the study monitored use of the intervention and documented participant satisfaction. A randomized trial with intervention (n = 41) and waiting list comparison groups (n = 37) was used to assess changes in pain intensity, limitations due to pain, pain self-efficacy, depression, anxiety, and awareness of responses to pain from baseline to follow-up at 6 weeks. There were statistically significant results for between-group difference in awareness of responses to pain, improvements in pain intensity and pain interference for both groups, and increases in confidence with using nonmedical self-care techniques to manage pain for the intervention group. Reductions in mean pain scores reported by the intervention group at log on and log off also suggest that the intervention may have an immediate impact on reducing pain. Findings document the feasibility of a relatively short-term, online mind-body pain management intervention that can have benefits for participants. The characteristics of those who volunteered for an online self-care pain management intervention also have implications for identifying target populations for such interventions.

Perspective: This article documents the outcomes of an Internet-based self-care pain management intervention that focused on mind-body exercises. The study suggests that the Internet can be an efficient mode for delivering self-care education to older adults with chronic pain and has potential benefits that complement clinical care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Middle Aged
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Treatment Outcome