Objectives: High-frequency and burst stimulation are newer waveforms that have demonstrated promise compared to traditional tonic spinal cord stimulation (SCS), but more studies are needed to compare their effectiveness. We report the study methods for an ongoing, single center, pragmatic randomized clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of high-frequency and burst SCS in patients with chronic back and/or leg pain.
Materials and methods: Participants who are candidates for spinal cord stimulation are enrolled and screened. Participants will be randomly assigned using point-of-care randomization to receive either high-frequency or burst SCS. Data collection will be through Stanford Pain Management Center's learning healthcare system: CHOIR. CHOIR surveys include National Institutes of Health Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System item banks, a body map, questions about pain intensity, pain catastrophizing scale, and questions about patients' pain experience and healthcare utilization. Participants will complete online surveys at baseline and then 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24 and 36 months after their device implant. All participants will use our routine process of trial and implant. Reported adverse events are monitored throughout the study. Our primary outcome is change from baseline in pain intensity at 12 months.
Results: We hypothesize that high-frequency SCS is more effective than burst SCS in improving pain, physical function and pain interference in participants with chronic low back and/or leg pain.
Conclusions: The pragmatic nature of our proposed trial enables us to recruit a larger participant cohort faster and to follow up these participants longer than currently published clinical trials.
Keywords: Burst; Comparative effectiveness; High-frequency; Pragmatic; Spinal cord stimulation.
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