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Internet Eases Pain in Elderly

A new study published has found that Internet surfing can significantly relieve chronic pain in seniors.

A new study published in The Journal of Pain, the publication of the American Pain Society, has found that Internet surfing can significantly relieve chronic pain in seniors.

Three Illinois researchers conducted the Self-care Pain Management Project during which they “assessed the feasibility and efficacy of delivering online mind-body self-care techniques to 78 adults aged 55 and older with chronic pain.” The intervention group accessed a website with “six modules for support with pain coping techniques such as abdominal breathing, relaxation, writing about positive experiences, writing about difficult experiences, creative visual expression and positive thinking.” The site offered instructional materials such as videos, illustrations, and worksheets meant to encourage participants to reflect on their reactions to pain and the strategies they used to cope with their pain. Participants were instructed to use this online intervention at least once a week for six weeks.

Researchers evaluated “changes in pain intensity, limitations due to pain, pain self-efficacy, depression, anxiety, and awareness of responses to pain from baseline to follow-up at 6 weeks.” The collected data showed that there was a “statistically significant difference in pain response awareness in the intervention group and meaningful improvements in pain intensity and levels of interference in daily activity attributed to pain.” The site helped to improve the level of patients’ confidence in nonmedical self-care techniques to manage pain.

The authors suggest that online interventions may “empower older adults with chronic pain to engage in self care, focus on managing pain in a positive way, and integrate what they learn into their daily routines.”

To access the study abstract, click here.