Internet-delivered psychological interventions among people with chronic pain have the potential to overcome environmental and economic barriers to the provision of evidence-based psychological treatment in the Irish health service context. While the use of internet-delivered cognitive-behavioural therapy programmes has been consistently shown to have small-to-moderate effects in the management of chronic pain, there is a paucity in the research regarding the effectiveness of an internet-delivered Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) programme among people with chronic pain. The current study will compare the clinical-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an online ACT intervention with a waitlist control condition in terms of the management of pain-related functional interference among people with chronic pain.
Participants with non-malignant pain that persists for at least 3¿months will be randomised to one of two study conditions. The experimental group will undergo an eight-session internet-delivered ACT programme over an 8-week period. The control group will be a waiting list group and will be offered the ACT intervention after the 3-month follow-up period. Participants will be assessed preintervention, postintervention and at a 3-month follow-up. The primary outcome will be pain-related functional interference. Secondary outcomes will include: pain intensity, depression, global impression of change, acceptance of chronic pain and quality of life. A qualitative evaluation of the perspectives of the participants regarding the ACT intervention will be completed after the trial.
The study will be performed in agreement with the Declaration of Helsinki and is approved by the National University of Ireland Galway Research Ethics Committee (12/05/05). The results of the trial will be published according to the CONSORT statement and will be presented at conferences and reported in peer-reviewed journals.