The design and methods of the aging successfully with pain study

Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Mar;33(2):417-25. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2011.11.012. Epub 2011 Nov 15.


Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is widespread among older adults (≥ 65 years) and is often treated inadequately. With a rapidly growing aging population, CLBP will increase and so will the demand for treatment. We believe that mind-body therapies can help to meet this demand. We present the methodology of a randomized, controlled clinical trial of 300 individuals with CLBP aged 65 years or older. The specific aims are, 1) to determine the effectiveness of a mindfulness meditation program in increasing function and reducing pain among older adults with CLBP, and 2) to evaluate the impact of mindfulness meditation on neuropsychological performance in older adults with CLBP. The intervention program is modeled on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) and the control is adapted from the 10 Keys to Healthy Aging. We will measure self-reported and objectively measured physical function and include a variety of measures to assess pain intensity and pain interference and psychological function. Our primary hypothesis is that the MBSR program will be more effective than the 10 Keys program in increasing function and decreasing pain. The proposed study represents the first large, well-controlled, comprehensive examination of the effects of a mind-body program on older adults with chronic pain.

Trial registration: NCT01405716.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Pain Measurement / methods*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data