Randomized Trial of Chronic Pain Self-Management Program in the Community or Clinic for Low-Income Primary Care Patients

Barbara J. Turner, Yuanyuan Liang, Maureen J. Simmonds, Natalia Rodriguez, Raudel Bobadilla, Zenong Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with chronic pain often lack the skills and resources necessary to manage this disease. Objective: To develop a chronic pain self-management program reflecting community stakeholders’ priorities and to compare functional outcomes from training in two settings. Design: A parallel-group randomized trial. Participants: Eligible subjects were 35–70 years of age, with chronic non-cancer pain treated with opioids for >2 months at two primary care and one HIV clinic serving low-income Hispanics. Interventions: In one study arm, the 6-month program was delivered in monthly one-on-one clinic meetings by a community health worker (CHW) trained as a chronic pain health educator, and in the second arm, content experts gave eight group lectures in a nearby library. Main Measures: Five times Sit-to-Stand test (5XSTS) assessed at baseline and 3 and 6 months. Other reported physical and cognitive measures include the 6-Min Walk (6 MW), Borg Perceived Effort Test (Borg Effort), 50-ft Speed Walk (50FtSW), SF-12 Physical Component Summary (SF-12 PCS), Patient-Specific Functional Scale (PSFS), and Symbol–Digit Modalities Test (SDMT). Intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses in mixed-effects models adjust for demographics, body mass index, maximum pain, study arm, and measurement time. Multiple imputation was used for sensitivity analyses. Key Results: Among 111 subjects, 53 were in the clinic arm and 58 in the community arm. In ITT analyses at 6 months, subjects in both arms performed the 5XSTS test faster (−4.9 s, P = 0.001) and improved scores on Borg Effort (−1, P = 0.02), PSFS (1.6, P < 0.001), and SDMT (5.9, P < 0.001). Only the clinic arm increased the 6 MW (172.4 ft, P = 0.02) and SF-12 PCS (6.2 points, P < 0.001). 50ftSW did not change (P = 0.15). Results were similar with multiple imputation. Five falls were possible adverse events. Conclusions: In low-income subjects with chronic pain, physical and cognitive function improved significantly after self-management training from expert lectures in the community and in-clinic meetings with a trained health educator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 3 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Randomized Trial of Chronic Pain Self-Management Program in the Community or Clinic for Low-Income Primary Care Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this