An artificial intelligence-powered, patient-centric digital tool for self-management of chronic pain: a prospective, multicenter clinical trial

Pain Med. 2023 Sep 1;24(9):1100-1110. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnad049.


Objective: To investigate how a behavioral health, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, digital self-management tool affects the daily functions in adults with chronic back and neck pain.

Design: Eligible subjects were enrolled in a 12-week prospective, multicenter, single-arm, open-label study and instructed to use the digital coach daily. Primary outcome was a change in Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information Systems (PROMIS) scores for pain interference. Secondary outcomes were changes in PROMIS physical function, anxiety, depression, pain intensity scores and pain catastrophizing scale (PCS) scores.

Methods: Subjects logged daily activities, using PainDrainerTM, and data analyzed by the AI engine. Questionnaire and web-based data were collected at 6 and 12 weeks and compared to subjects' baseline.

Results: Subjects completed the 6- (n = 41) and 12-week (n = 34) questionnaires. A statistically significant Minimal Important Difference (MID) for pain interference was demonstrated in 57.5% of the subjects. Similarly, MID for physical function was demonstrated in 72.5% of the subjects. A pre- to post-intervention improvement in depression score was also statistically significant, observed in 100% of subjects, as was the improvement in anxiety scores, evident in 81.3% of the subjects. PCS mean scores was also significantly decreased at 12 weeks.

Conclusion: Chronic pain self-management, using an AI-powered, digital coach anchored in behavioral health principles significantly improved subjects' pain interference, physical function, depression, anxiety, and pain catastrophizing over the 12-week study period.

Keywords: ACT; chronic pain; digital tool; patient-centric; self-management.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Chronic Pain* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self-Management*