Research & Program Areas

Veterans Walk to Beat Back Pain

Chronic pain, especially back pain, is a prevalent condition that is associated with disability, anxiety and depression, decreased quality of life, and increased health services use. Exercise is an effective strategy for managing chronic pain, however many sufferers do not have access to low-cost resources supporting their efforts to initiate and maintain an exercise program. In this study led by CMCD affiliate Sarah Krein, PhD, investigators determined whether a pedometer-based, Internet-mediated intervention can reduce chronic back pain-related disability.

A total of 229  patients with chronic back pain were recruited from a Department of Veterans Affairs health care system. Participants randomized to the intervention received an uploading pedometer and had access to a website that provided automated walking goals, feedback, motivational messages, and social support through an e-community. Usual care participants also received the uploading pedometer but did not receive the automated feedback or have access to the website. The primary outcome was measured using the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ). At 6 months, average RDQ scores were significantly better among intervention than control participants. A post hoc analysis of patients with baseline RDQ scores ?4 revealed even larger adjusted differences between groups at 6 months.

For more information, contact John Colozzi at


Chronic Pain, Internet, Veterans

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