Research so far on this course ...

We have conducted > 8 trials of this course

More than 3,000 participants have enrolled in this course

We have published  > 10  studies evaluating this course

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Pain Course

Background

 

The Pain Course is a free, online and internet-delivered pain management program, which is designed to provide good information and teach practical skills for managing the impact of chronic pain on day-to-day activities and emotional wellbeing.

We have developed the course because we know that chronic pain is very common. However, many people with chronic pain face significant challenges and difficulties trying to manage their pain, which can significantly affect their emotional wellbeing, day-to-day activities and quality of life.

Research shows that many people with chronic pain benefit from participating in pain management programs, which teach them about chronic pain and how to manage its impacts. However, these programs are often only available via specialist pain management services (located in major hospitals), which many people find difficult to access - especially when living outside of major cities.

 

We developed the course with the hope of helping people to limit the impact their chronic pain have on their day-to-day lives and to maintain good emotional wellbeing despite their health conditions.

To learn more about chronic pain, please click here.


What conditions have previous participants had?

Some common chronic pain conditions of our previous participants include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic conditions

  • Complex regional pain syndrome

  • Endometriosis

  • Back pain

  • Osteoarthritis and other skeletal conditions 

  • Post-surgical and post-chemotherapy pain

  • Peripheral neuropathies

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Trigeminal neuralgia

  • Migraine and headache

  • Post herpetic neuralgia

  • Hypermobility syndromes

  • And many, many more.


Who is the course suitable for?

The course is suitable for:

  • Adults aged 18 and older.

  • With chronic pain - that is, pain they have experienced for more than 6 months

  • With pain that has been assessed by a medical doctor or medical specialist

  • With pain that is impacting their emotional wellbeing, day-to-day activities and overall quality of life

  • Who want to learn information and skills to limit the impact of their condition and improve their emotional wellbeing

  • Who have at least 4 hours per week to spend working on the Course and practicing the skills taught during the Course

 

Unfortunately, we cannot include people who are currently suicidal, or do not have access to the Internet. We also strongly recommend people discuss their participation in this course with their GP and other doctors. Maintaining a good working relationship with your doctors is essential when you have a chronic pain and they can help you decide whether this program is going to be suitable for you.


What does the course involve?

The course involves:

  • 5 online lessons that provide information and teach practical self-management skills

  • DIY Guides to help understand and practice those skills

  • Lots of Additional Resources and Case Stories and examples from others

  • Brief weekly contact with a clinician via email and telephone (not available in all courses)

 

The course is delivered over 8 weeks and is designed to provide good information and teach practical skills for managing the impacts of chronic pain and maintaining good emotional wellbeing. The course is not designed to 'treat' or 'cure' chronic pain. However, the information and skills covered have been found in 100s of research trials to be helpful for people with chronic pain.

The course aims to provide the information and skills that you would normally receive from a Clinical Psychologist, if you attended a specialist pain management service. However, because many people cannot access these facilities, we are developing and testing this internet-delivered course - our goal is to make it as helpful as possible and to make it freely and widely available.

Please note: Many people with chronic pain have had the regrettable experience of being told their pain is psychological or all in their mind. Please be assured that all pain is real. The Pain Course is designed to help people manage the impacts of the very real pain their experience and to maintain their quality of life despite pain.


What have we found so far?

We have now had a lot of people complete this course. Participants are reporting improvements in:

 

  • Day-to-day activity levels and abilities

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Low mood and depression

  • Average pain levels and pain fluctuations

 

Although the course is hard work, more than 90% of participants are also reporting the course is worth their time and that they'd recommend it to others. 

Some of the key papers we have published on this course are:

  • Dear BF, Karin E, Foglitati R, Dudeney J, Nielssen O, Scott AJ, Gandy M, Bisby MA, Heriseanu AI, Hathway T, Staples L, Titov N, Schroeder L. (2022). The Pain Course: A randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of an internet-delivered pain management program. Pain, 163, 1388-1401.

  • Dear BF, Gandy M, Karin E, Ricciardi T, Fogliati VJ, McDonald S, Staples LG, Nicholson Perry K, Sharpe L, Nicholas MK, Titov N. (2017). The Pain Course: A randomised controlled trial comparing a remotely-delivered chronic pain management program when provided in online and workbook formats. Pain, 158, 1289 – 1301.

  • Friesen LN, Hadjistavropoulos HD, Alberts NM, Schneider LH, Titov N, Dear BF. (2017). Examination of an Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavioural Pain Management Course for Adults with Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain, 158, 593 – 604.

  • Dear BF, Gandy M, Karin E, Staples LG, Johnston L, Fogliati V, Wootton BM, Terides MD, Kayrouz R, Nicholson Perry K, Sharpe L, Nicholas MK, Titov N. (2015). The Pain Course: A randomised controlled trial examining an internet delivered pain management program when provided with different levels of clinician support. Pain, 156, 1920-1935.

  • Dear BF, Titov N, Nicholson Perry K, Johnston L, Wootton BM, Terides MD, Rapee RM, Hudson JL. (2013). The Pain Course: A randomised controlled trial of clinician-guided internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy program for managing chronic pain and emotional wellbeing. Pain, 154, 942-950. 


What is the current trial or study looking at?

Every time we offer a course we offer it as a part of a trial or study. This means that participants are helping us to answer an important research question while they participate in our courses.

The current trial of the Pain Course is examining its effectiveness and helpfulness to people with a very broad range of chronic pain conditions, and when the course is offered to people outside of Australia without clinician support.

You can read more about the current trial by reading the Participant Information and Consent Form Statement

When is the next course being offered?

In Australia?

We are not currently offering the Pain Course to people living in Australia. Instead, we are strongly recommending people with chronic pain participate in our Chronic Conditions Course, here.

Outside Australia?

We are pleased to now be offering the Pain Course to people living outside of Australia. Unfortunately we are only able to offer the course in English at this point in time - we are sorry about this.

Our next two groups of the course will be starting on the:

 

  • 31st of October, 2022 

  • 26th of December, 2022

 

Participants will be randomised to start in one of these two groups - so they need to be available to start in either groups.

 

To apply to participate in one of our next two groups, please click the 'Apply Now' button below and follow the prompts.

We will be running new courses 4 or 5 times a year. If the dates for our next two groups are not suitable for you, please check this webpage again in a couple of weeks - we'll be updating the dates of available groups regularly.

Interested in this course?

(if you are outside Australia)