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The BraveNet prospective observational study on integrative medicine treatment approaches for pain

  • Author(s): Abrams, Donald I
  • Dolor, Rowena
  • Roberts, Rhonda
  • Pechura, Constance
  • Dusek, Jeffery
  • Amoils, Sandi
  • Amoils, Steven
  • Barrows, Kevin
  • Edman, Joel S
  • Frye, Joyce
  • Guarneri, Erminia
  • Kligler, Ben
  • Monti, Daniel
  • Spar, Myles
  • Wolever, Ruth Q
  • et al.
Abstract

Abstract Background Chronic pain affects nearly 116 million American adults at an estimated cost of up to $635 billion annually and is the No. 1 condition for which patients seek care at integrative medicine clinics. In our Study on Integrative Medicine Treatment Approaches for Pain (SIMTAP), we observed the impact of an integrative approach on chronic pain and a number of other related patient-reported outcome measures. Methods Our prospective, non-randomized, open-label observational evaluation was conducted over six months, at nine clinical sites. Participants received a non-standardized, personalized, multimodal approach to chronic pain. Validated instruments for pain (severity and interference levels), quality of life, mood, stress, sleep, fatigue, sense of control, overall well-being, and work productivity were completed at baseline and at six, 12, and 24 weeks. Blood was collected at baseline and week 12 for analysis of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Repeated-measures analysis was performed on data to assess change from baseline at 24 weeks. Results Of 409 participants initially enrolled, 252 completed all follow-up visits during the 6 month evaluation. Participants were predominantly white (81%) and female (73%), with a mean age of 49.1 years (15.44) and an average of 8.0 (9.26) years of chronic pain. At baseline, 52% of patients reported symptoms consistent with depression. At 24 weeks, significantly decreased pain severity (−23%) and interference (−28%) were seen. Significant improvements in mood, stress, quality of life, fatigue, sleep and well-being were also observed. Mean 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels increased from 33.4 (17.05) ng/mL at baseline to 39.6 (16.68) ng/mL at week 12. Conclusions Among participants completing an integrative medicine program for chronic pain, significant improvements were seen in pain as well as other relevant patient-reported outcome measures. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01186341

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