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Pain education for improving pain health literacy and quality of life after spinal cord injury

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 400 K
Funding amount
PROJECT BACKGROUND: Up to 80% of people develop chronic pain within their first year after a spinal cord injury (SCI). Although all the pain types that occur after injury can be problematic, the persistent neuropathic pain types in particular, negatively influence quality of life and independent living after SCI by significantly interfering with sleep, mood, physical and social activities. Most pharmacological approaches only have limited effectiveness in reducing the intensity of neuropathic pain in this population, optimal pain management strategies need to incorporate multiple ways to reduce pain. A large proportion of those who experience SCI-related neuropathic pain consider information about pain and how to best manage pain to be critically important and a top priority in the continuum of in-patient through outpatient care. Indeed, health literacy, i.e., “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” can positively affect quality of life. Multimodal pain management strategies incorporating pain education can facilitate optimal treatment decisions and make pain more manageable. HYPOTHESIS AND/OR GOAL: The goal of this proposal is to develop a relevant educational resource for improving pain health literacy and quality of life after SCI. This work will provide a basis for future clinical trials to test the effectiveness of the SeePain in reducing the impact of chronic pain, either separately or in combination with an intervention. SPECIFIC AIMS/OBJECTIVES: We have developed a preliminary educational tool (SeePain). The intent of this tool is to: (1) Provide information regarding pain and its treatments, including self-management and self-remedies for those with SCI and their significant others; and (2) Facilitate patient-healthcare provider communication regarding SCI-related pain, treatment options and its impact on daily life. The SeePain has not been systematically evaluated by primary stakeholders regarding its content, relevance, comprehensiveness, and format. Specific Aim 1: Qualitatively evaluate the SeePain with respect to comprehensiveness, content, relevance, and format. Specific Aim 2: Quantitatively evaluate the generalizability to a larger population by quantifying the agreement with the overall format and suggested revisions in a large survey. STUDY DESIGN/METHODOLOGY: Mixed-methods EVALUATION CRITERIA: Qualitative interviews, survey, pain outcome measures. EXPECTED RESULTS: We expect that the proposed study will provide relevant suggestions for an improved version of the SeePain. We also expect that the survey will improve generalizability by quantifying the agreement with the comprehensiveness, content, relevance, and format, and suggested revisions of the SeePain PROJECT’S RELEVANCE ON HOW RESULTS WILL IMPACT THE SCI RESEARCH FIELD AND/OR THOSE LIVING WITH SCI: We expect that a patient/consumer-centered educational resource aimed to facilitate health literacy will help people to overcome significant barriers to improve quality of life by making chronic pain more manageable at any stage of SCI. (CHN: PSR chn:wdg)
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    1117 Public Health and Health Services

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Pain Research

  • RCDC

    Pain Conditions - Chronic

  • RCDC

    Health Services

  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Behavioral and Social Science

  • RCDC

    Clinical Research

  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Peripheral Neuropathy



  • Health Research Areas

    Health services & systems

  • Broad Research Areas

    Health Services Research