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1.
JAMA Intern Med ; 182(6): 687-688, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1801975
2.
Pain Manag Nurs ; 23(3): 301-310, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586851

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Chronic low back pain, one of the most common reasons for seeking healthcare services, causes significant negative impacts on individuals and society. Nonpharmacologic therapies and self-management are included in practice guidelines, but their implementation is challenging. AIM: To assess the feasibility of using an auricular point acupressure (APA) mobile app as a self-guided tool to learn and self-administer APA to manage chronic low back pain (cLBP) and to compare cLBP outcomes between 2 groups (app vs app + telehealth). DESIGN: A 2-phase study design was used. In phase 1, participants (app group, n = 18) had in-person study visits and installed the app to learn and self-administer APA to manage cLBP. In phase 2, all research activities occurred remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so a second group was recruited (app + telehealth, n = 19). The app + telehealth group underwent a virtual session, installed the app, and were provided the opportunity for questions and verification on the accuracy of the self-administered APA. SETTING: The participants were recruited by distributing study flyers at outpatient clinics and referrals. PARTICIPANTS: Participants with chronic low back pain were eliglbe for the study. METHODS: Using a quasi-experimental design with a mixed methods approach, all participants were instructed to download the APA app, provided an APA kit (includes seeds embedded within pre-cut squares of adhesive tape), and advised to self-administer APA with guidance from the app for 4 weeks to manage their cLBP. Study outcomes were collected at the preintervention time point as well as postintervention and 1-month follow-up. Interviews were also conducted at the postintervention time point. RESULTS: Of the 37 participants enrolled, six dropped out, and the attrition rate was 16%. Adherence to APA practice was high (85%-94%). After 4 weeks of APA treatment, participants in the app + telehealth group experienced a 29% decrease in pain intensity during the postintervention time point and a 35% reduction during the 1-month follow-up. Similar improvements were noted in pain interference (28%) and physical function (39%) for participants in the app + telehealth group at the 1-month follow-up. These changes are slightly higher compared with those in the app group (21% pain intensity reduction, 23% improved pain interferences, and 26% improved physical function) during the 1-month follow-up. Overall, APA was found to be feasible using the app and the qualitative findings showed acceptability of the intervention in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: It is feasible to learn and self-administer APA with an app, supplemented with either in-person or telehealth sessions, presenting a promising intervention toward cLBP self-management. Telehealth was found to boost this intervention effectively.


Subject(s)
Acupressure , COVID-19 , Chronic Pain , Low Back Pain , Self-Management , Acupressure/methods , Chronic Pain/therapy , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Low Back Pain/therapy , Pandemics
3.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e26292, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574360

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Chronic low back pain is the most prevalent chronic pain condition worldwide and access to behavioral pain treatment is limited. Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive technology that may provide effective behavioral therapeutics for chronic pain. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to conduct a double-blind, parallel-arm, single-cohort, remote, randomized placebo-controlled trial for a self-administered behavioral skills-based VR program in community-based individuals with self-reported chronic low back pain during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A national online convenience sample of individuals with self-reported nonmalignant low back pain with duration of 6 months or more and with average pain intensity of 4 or more/10 was enrolled and randomized 1:1 to 1 of 2 daily (56-day) VR programs: (1) EaseVRx (immersive pain relief skills VR program); or (2) Sham VR (2D nature content delivered in a VR headset). Objective device use data and self-reported data were collected. The primary outcomes were the between-group effect of EaseVRx versus Sham VR across time points, and the between-within interaction effect representing the change in average pain intensity and pain-related interference with activity, stress, mood, and sleep over time (baseline to end-of-treatment at day 56). Secondary outcomes were global impression of change and change in physical function, sleep disturbance, pain self-efficacy, pain catastrophizing, pain acceptance, pain medication use, and user satisfaction. Analytic methods included intention-to-treat and a mixed-model framework. RESULTS: The study sample was 179 adults (female: 76.5%, 137/179; Caucasian: 90.5%, 162/179; at least some college education: 91.1%, 163/179; mean age: 51.5 years [SD 13.1]; average pain intensity: 5/10 [SD 1.2]; back pain duration ≥5 years: 67%, 120/179). No group differences were found for any baseline variable or treatment engagement. User satisfaction ratings were higher for EaseVRx versus Sham VR (P<.001). For the between-groups factor, EaseVRx was superior to Sham VR for all primary outcomes (highest P value=.009), and between-groups Cohen d effect sizes ranged from 0.40 to 0.49, indicating superiority was moderately clinically meaningful. For EaseVRx, large pre-post effect sizes ranged from 1.17 to 1.3 and met moderate to substantial clinical importance for reduced pain intensity and pain-related interference with activity, mood, and stress. Between-group comparisons for Physical Function and Sleep Disturbance showed superiority for the EaseVRx group versus the Sham VR group (P=.022 and .013, respectively). Pain catastrophizing, pain self-efficacy, pain acceptance, prescription opioid use (morphine milligram equivalent) did not reach statistical significance for either group. Use of over-the-counter analgesic use was reduced for EaseVRx (P<.01) but not for Sham VR. CONCLUSIONS: EaseVRx had high user satisfaction and superior and clinically meaningful symptom reduction for average pain intensity and pain-related interference with activity, mood, and stress compared to sham VR. Additional research is needed to determine durability of treatment effects and to characterize mechanisms of treatment effects. Home-based VR may expand access to effective and on-demand nonpharmacologic treatment for chronic low back pain. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04415177; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04415177. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.2196/25291.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chronic Pain/therapy , Health Behavior , Low Back Pain/therapy , Pain Management/methods , Virtual Reality , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Self Report , Time Factors , Young Adult
5.
J Osteopath Med ; 121(7): 625-633, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154107

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted the delivery of health care services throughout the United States, including those for patients with chronic pain. OBJECTIVES: To measure changes in patients' utilization of nonpharmacological and pharmacological treatments for chronic low back pain and related outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A pre-post study was conducted within the Pain Registry for Epidemiological, Clinical, and Interventional Studies and Innovation (PRECISION Pain Research Registry) using data in the 3 months before and 3-6 months after the declaration of a national emergency related to COVID-19. Participants 21-79 years old with chronic low back pain were included in the study and provided self reported data at relevant quarterly encounters. Use of exercise therapy, yoga, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, and opioids for low back pain was measured. The primary outcomes were low back pain intensity and back related functioning measured with a numerical rating scale and the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, respectively. Secondary outcomes included health related quality of life scales measured with the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, including scales for physical function, anxiety, depression, low energy/fatigue, sleep disturbance, participation in social roles and activities, and pain interference with activities. RESULTS: A total of 476 participants were included in this study. The mean age of participants at baseline was 54.0 years (standard deviation, ±13.2 years; range, 22-81 years). There were 349 (73.3%) female participants and 127 (26.7%) male participants in the study. Utilization of exercise therapy (odds ratio [OR], 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23-0.57), massage therapy (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.25-0.83), and spinal manipulation (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.29-0.93) decreased during the pandemic. A reduction in NSAID use was also observed (OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.45-0.99). Participants reported a significant, but not clinically relevant, improvement in low back pain intensity during the pandemic (mean improvement, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.03-0.34; Cohen's d, 0.11). However, White participants reported a significant improvement in low back pain intensity (mean improvement, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.10-0.46), whereas Black participants did not (mean improvement, -0.13; 95% CI, -0.46 to 0.19; p for interaction=0.03). Overall, there was a significant and clinically relevant improvement in pain interference with activities (mean improvement, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.20-2.02; Cohen's d, 0.20). The use of NSAIDs during the pandemic was associated with marginal increases in low back pain intensity. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, decreased utilization of treatments for chronic low back pain did not adversely impact pain and functioning outcomes during the first 6 months of the pandemic. However, Black participants experienced significantly worse pain outcomes than their White counterparts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Chronic Pain/therapy , Low Back Pain/therapy , Acupuncture Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Exercise Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Manipulation, Spinal/statistics & numerical data , Massage/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pain Measurement , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , Quality of Life , United States , Yoga , Young Adult
6.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(Suppl): S77-S84, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100003

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This study was conducted to determine if limited access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted utilization of recommended nonpharmacological treatments, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioids by patients with chronic low back pain and affected clinical outcomes relating to pain intensity and disability. METHODS: Participants within the Pain Registry for Epidemiological, Clinical, and Interventional Studies and Innovation were eligible if they provided encounter data in the 3 months immediately before and after the national emergency proclamation date (NEPD). RESULTS: The mean age of the 528 study participants was 53.9 years and 74.1% were women. Utilization of exercise therapy, massage therapy, and spinal manipulation decreased during the pandemic. Increasing age was associated with decreased utilization of all nonpharmacological treatments except exercise therapy, and with increased opioid use during the pandemic. African American participants reported decreased utilization of yoga and spinal manipulation during the pandemic. Overall, mean change scores for pain intensity and disability before and after the NEPD were not significant. However, African American participants consistently reported worse pain intensity and disability outcomes during the pandemic. Marginally worse outcomes were observed less consistently for pain intensity with increasing age and for disability among women. DISCUSSION: Social distancing during the pandemic impacted the uptake of recommended nonpharmacological treatments for chronic low back pain that require visiting community-based facilities or interacting closely with providers. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic threatens to exacerbate the impact of chronic low back pain, particularly among African American patients and the older population, by impeding access to guideline-informed noninvasive treatments.


Subject(s)
Chronic Pain/therapy , Low Back Pain/therapy , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Demography , Female , Guideline Adherence/organization & administration , Guideline Adherence/trends , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Quality of Life , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
7.
Work ; 67(1): 11-19, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-890319

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused global adoption of stay-at-home mandates in an effort to curb viral spread. This lockdown has had the unintended consequence of decreasing physical activity, and incidence of low back pain (LBP) is likely to rise as sedentary behavior increases. OBJECTIVE: In this article, we aim to provide a fundamental, novel approach to alleviate LBP including desk worker associated LBP exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Individuals can alleviate their LBP through a simplistic, self-therapeutic approach: myofascial release and stretching of key musculature involved in LBP following a simple technique and associated time domain, as well as a 360-degree strengthening of the muscles surrounding the lower back. Additional muscular strength will support the lower back and lend resilience to aid in the mitigation of pain caused by poor work-related postural positions. RESULTS: We demonstrate several exercises and movements aimed at alleviating LBP. Additionally, we provide a summary graphic which facilitates ease of use of the exercise plan and represents a novel methodology for simple distribution of evidence-based pain reduction strategies. CONCLUSIOS: Through mitigation of sedentary behavior and adoption of the techniques described herein, LBP can be decreased and, in some cases, cured.


Subject(s)
Low Back Pain/therapy , Massage , Muscle Stretching Exercises , Occupational Diseases/therapy , Resistance Training , Sedentary Behavior , Workplace/psychology , Back Muscles/physiopathology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Low Back Pain/physiopathology , Occupational Diseases/physiopathology , Pain Management/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Telecommunications
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