Chronic pain occurs in a social context, frequently impacting couples in a committed relationship. Most couples have a reciprocal influence on one another. Partners of people with chronic pain are both affected by pain and may play a (positive or negative) role in pain management. Depending upon their skills and knowledge, partners may interfere with or facilitate coping with chronic pain. Further, partners of those with pain may confront multiple challenges themselves and may have inadequate resources for self-care, much less the ability to provide effective pain management support. The proposed Partner Pain Support Program (PPSP), is an online, psycho-educational system to enhance the effectiveness of partner support of individuals with chronic pain and to provide resources to assist partners in the management of the psychological, social, and/or motivational challenges of living with someone with chronic pain. The PPSP will be a stand-alone program or a companion to the Goalistics online Chronic Pain Management Program, which is currently available and serves individuals with chronic pain.
The long-term goal of the proposed project is the development and testing of the effectiveness of the Partner Pain Support Program (PPSP), a web-based psychoeducational self-help system for partners/spouses of individuals with chronic pain. The program will provide training for partners to enhance effective pain management support and help partners in coping with the challenges and burdens of living with and/or loving someone with chronic pain. The PPSP is based on fundamental, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and motivational perspectives on chronic pain management. The program has the potential to provide scientifically sound information to large numbers of individuals at low cost.