Translating in pain research into patient care: evidence, challenges and opportunities

  • B. McGuire


Background. This paper provides a high-level overview of the future challenges and opportunities for technology-based psychological interventions to help with management of chronic pain. Methods. A review of the literature shows that there has been rapid growth in pain management psychological interventions using online technologies and phone apps but many of these interventions have been developed in the absence of health professional involvement or adequate scientific evaluation. Findings. While online psychological interventions are generally well received and effective in reducing distress and disability, there remains a dearth of information regarding the effectiveness of technology-based pain management interventions based on phone apps. Furthermore, many of these effective interventions have been developed in educational institutions and with a few notable exceptions, there is little evidence of widespread dissemination or uptake within health services. Discussion. Some of the reasons for the challenges in disseminating and implementing e-pain programmes are explored and suggestions for integrating e-pain treatments into existing health service systems are offered.