Using Intervention Mapping to Develop a Novel Pain Self-Management Intervention for People with Cirrhosis

Dig Dis Sci. 2022 Nov;67(11):5063-5078. doi: 10.1007/s10620-022-07380-4. Epub 2022 Feb 11.


Background: Chronic pain is common among patients with cirrhosis and is challenging to treat. While promising, pain self-management (PSM) interventions have not been tailored to this population's needs.

Aims: To design a PSM intervention for patients with cirrhosis.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews with 17 patients with cirrhosis, 12 hepatologists, and 6 administrators from two medical centers were conducted to inform a rigorous, structured intervention mapping (IM) process. Qualitative content analysis was guided by social cognitive theory (SCT) and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and incorporated into intervention development. A planning group met regularly throughout the intervention, to reach consensus about how to use data and theory to develop the intervention through IM.

Results: Participants described barriers to PSM behaviors, including the absence of simple, evidence-based interventions for pain for patients with cirrhosis, inadequate provider knowledge, time, and training, and lack of champions, funding, and communication. Patients described high motivation to treat pain using behavioral methods including meditation, prayer, and exercise. The intervention was designed to address barriers to PSM behaviors for patients with cirrhosis, using behavior change methods that address knowledge, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations. The LEAP (Liver Education About Pain) intervention is a 12-week, modular intervention delivered by phone via individual and group sessions with a health coach.

Conclusions: People with cirrhosis, hepatologists, and administrators informed this theory-driven, tailored PSM intervention, which was designed to be implementable in the real world.

Keywords: Addiction; Chronic pain; Intervention mapping; Liver disease; Opioid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Self-Management*