Gaining Insight and Taking Action: Engaging Adults with Persistent Pain and Opioid Use Disorder in an Online Pain Self-Management Program

AbstractThe primary purpose of this study was to evaluate participants’ perceptions after engaging in an 8-week online pain self-management program. Participants (N=31) were adults enrolled in a medication-assisted outpatient opioid treatment program who had co-existing opioid substance use disorder and persistent pain. Data were collected via secure online surveys and content analysis methods were used to analyze text from open-ended questions. Two themes were identified describing benefits of the program: gaining insight and taking action. Two themes described how participants would like to improve program experiences: feeling overwhelmed and ease of use. Survey data were also examined for relationships between level of program engagement, pain relief, and substance use to explore potential barriers to program use. Poorly managed pain and illicit drug use were associated with reduced program use (p<0.05). Understanding preferences and barriers can assist adoption of online programs for people with co-morbid pain and substance use disorder.

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