Preliminary Trial of an Online Acceptance-based Behavioural Treatment for Military, Police, and Veterans with Chronic Pain
Holens, Pamela L.
Buhler, Jeremiah N.
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Introduction: Chronic pain is a serious health issue in Canada but an even greater issue in military populations. Individuals experiencing chronic pain frequently find attending in-person treatment sessions difficult because of pain flare-ups, discomfort when travelling, and pain-related avoidance behaviours. These challenges function to maintain the pain cycle and prevent engagement in previously enjoyed activities. The purpose of this study was to gather preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of an online acceptance-based behavioural treatment of chronic pain designed specifically for military, police, and Veterans of these forces. Methods: In this preliminary trial, 15 participants engaged in an 8-week online treatment of chronic pain supplemented with optional biweekly group sessions. Participants completed pre- and post-treatment measures relating to key facets of the fear–avoidance model of chronic pain. Results: Participants' scores improved following treatment on measures of pain acceptance, kinesiophobia, and pain catastrophizing, and pain intensity ratings trended in the expected direction. Discussion: These preliminary results support the feasibility of our online acceptance-based treatment of chronic pain when combined with optional biweekly in-person group sessions.