Combining an Antidepressant and Online Pain Management
A $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will be used to research chronic musculoskeletal pain treatments. Due to worker disability and lost wages, this type of condition, which leads to pain in bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons, costs the United States $500 billion yearly. The grant is going to a team of doctors and researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a 4-year study of 280 participants who will 1) receive an antidepressant, 2) receive an antidepressant and participate in web-based cognitive behavioral therapy with a health coach, or 3) receive an antidepressant and participate in web-based cognitive behavioral therapy without a health coach.
Dennis Ang, MD, principal investigator, commented that, “The funding will support a clinical trial that combines an FDA-approved antidepressant drug with a web-based pain-management program to determine if pain relief can be enhanced… Both of these treatments work pretty well separately, so we hope that combining them will significantly increase pain relief and improve patients’ quality of life. In addition, we will work closely with the study participants’ primary care doctors during and after the trial to coordinate care that hopefully will be more effective, less expensive and more accessible for patients.” It is hoped that long-term benefits will come out of interacting with health coaches, and that patients will continue to practice what pain coping skills they’ve been taught.
Read the press release.
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