Telehealth Coaching Program Provided Pain Relief in Chronic Pain Patients  What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings are that participation in the 12 month health and wellness coaching program was associated with reduced pain intensity and pain related interference. Improvements in psychological and physical factors were associated with improvements in pain intensity. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This work sets the stage for more rigorous research designs to definitively answer the question of whether health coaching has a causal effect in improving pain and/or pain-related interference. Because this study was observational in nature, no cause and effect relationships can be inferred. We did not control for important potentially confounding variables and the dropout rate was high (only 43% of participants completed the program). What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: With an increased emphasis on non-pharmacologic interventions for persistent pain, I would like to see future research use robust designs (RCTs) which are capable of generating data to definitively answer if health coaching improves the lives of those with persistent pain.

The author team has no conflicts of interest or disclosures to make.

Citation: Rethorn ZD, Pettitt RW, Dykstra E, Pettitt CD (2020) Health and wellness coaching positively impacts individuals with chronic pain and pain-related interference. PLoS ONE 15(7): e0236734.

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