Web-based program aims to ease burdens of chronic pain | Behavioral Healthcare Executive Skip to content Skip to navigation

Web-based program aims to ease burdens of chronic pain

May 20, 2011
by News release
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Austin, Tex. — There is good news for the 76 million Americans who experience chronic pain including migraine, back pain, fibromyalgia and arthritis. A new study reveals that an online, self-paced chronic pain management program reduces the physical and psychological burdens of this debilitating condition.
The data was recently presented at the 30th Annual American Pain Society meeting. Linda S. Ruehlman, PhD, lead author and Director of Research at Goalistics, LLC, along with Paul Karoly, PhD, Director of Product Development at Goalistics, LLC and Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, conducted a randomized controlled study of 305 people with chronic pain (162 people were randomly assigned to the online program for two months, 143 were wait listed).

Drawing on evidence-based clinical research, Goalistics develops affordable, easy-to-use computer-based tools that utilize a full array of electronic resources including online assessments, data tracking, reporting, videos, and discussion forums. Program users reported a statistically significant decrease in pain's interference with work, social activities, household chores and sleep. Additionally, they experienced a significant reduction in stress, anxiety and depression while increasing their pain management knowledge.

"Our goal in developing the program was to take traditional pain treatment methods and transform them to an online format so that more people with chronic pain could learn effective pain management strategies at their own pace in the privacy of their own home," said Ruehlman.

The Goalistics

Chronic Pain Management Program is based on research developed through grants awarded to Ruehlman and Karoly from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The program's four interactive learning centers utilize cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal models of chronic pain management and address thinking more constructively, managing emotions, pursuing goals and becoming more active, and improving social connections. An in-depth chronic pain assessment forms the basis for a set of custom program recommendations tailored to the individual's needs. The highly interactive program also includes discussion forums and self-management tools to help the user monitor progress and stay on track. For more information, visit


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