This research seeks a more effective and cost-effective integration of medical care and self-care for chronic and recurrent pain in pr5imary care settings.
Aim 1 : Identify improved methods for analysis of automated health care and medicine use data for TMD pain, headache and back pain patients. Identify potentially modifiable determinants of long-term frequent use of health care and pain medications for these conditions. Study One: We will study determinants of health care and prescription medicine use for pain over a five-year time span. {{Methods for analysis of automated health care and medicine use data will be assessed to test more powerful and informative approaches. Using improved analytic methods,}} we will assess the ability of patient variables to predict and explain frequent use of health care, opioid medications and sedative- hypnotic medications for patients with TMD (n=391), back pain (n=833) and headache (n=869) over a five year time-span.
Aim 2 : Evaluate the effectiveness of Self-Care Group interventions guided by a stepped care model. Study Two: Data from two randomized controlled trials of Self- Care Groups (SCG) initiated in 1996-98) as part of the current Program Project will be used to identify factors influencing the long-term effectiveness of SCG (participation, baseline severity, self-care orientation, prognostic variables). Study Three: A new randomized controlled trial will evaluate Self-Care Groups fully integrated into primary care. This trial will evaluate the initial benefits and the long-term effectiveness of Self-Care Groups among actively recruited back pain patients (n=250). The intervention will target patients with enduring activity limitations and higher use of health care for back pain {{Patients with continuing activity limitations will receive more intensive intervention according to a stepped care protocol.}} Patients will be followed-up 2, 6, 12 and {{24}} months after randomization. The primary outcome will be activity limitations (Roland Disability Score with added items concerning occupational role disability).
Aim 3 : Assess the impact of Self-Care Groups (SCG) on long-term health care and prescription medication use. Determine the effect of SCG on health care costs. Study Four: Using automated health care and medicine use data and improved analytic methods, we will investigate the long-term effects of SCG on: (1) use of health care; (2) use of prescription pain medications; and (3) health care costs for back pain (total n from three SCG trials=731). Since the SCG interventions have been shown to reduce worry, enhance confidence in self-care, and reduce activity limitations, this research will provide an experimental test of whether modifying these factors reduces subsequent use of health care.

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University of Washington
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