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Using On-Line Strategies to Enhance Information and Social Support for Self-Management of Chronic Low Back Pain

English title Using On-Line Strategies to Enhance Information and Social Support for Self-Management of Chronic Low Back Pain
Applicant Schulz Peter
Number 104841
Funding scheme NRP 53 Musculoskeletal Health - Chronic Pain
Research institution Istituto Media e Giornalismo Facoltà di Scienze della comunicazione Università della Svizzera italiana
Institution of higher education Università della Svizzera italiana - USI
Main discipline Communication sciences
Start/End 01.06.2004 - 31.10.2008
Approved amount 304'329.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Communication sciences
Health Education

Keywords (2)

Protection and promotion of human health; Social structures and relations

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Online Enhanced Self-Management of cLBP (ONESELF), pilot study

Patient information plays an important role in the management and treatment of a chronic pain condition like low back pain (cLBP). The way people deal with their subjective perception and manage their pain strongly depends on the kind of information that their doctors as well as their social environment (friends and relatives) and media (magazines and leaflets, television and internet) provide. Despite the huge amount of advice for patients how to approach their cLBP, there exists however, from the patient's point of view - an information gap between general knowledge on pain management on one side, and skills and understanding necessary to carry out related behaviours on the other side. Often, delivered information does not address specific difficulties of the patients.

The project we are about to start aims to test whether a combination of information and support offered through an internet platform can improves health status (for the benefit of the patients) and health care utilisation (for the benefit of the administration).
This project, that has currently the form of a one year pivotal study, involves the creation of an on open source platform Moodle to be used by 20 patients affected by cLBP from Canton Ticino and an expert group composed by 1 moderator, 1 general practitioner, 2 rheumatologists and 1 psychologist, in a period of time of 4 months. The platform will provide a user registration, an access to educational material, a forum and a frequently asked questions area.

Both surgery and drug-therapy are expensive approaches to reduce the economic and social consequences associated with cLBP. Effective self-management, however, can reduce health care costs and increase worker productivity because of fewer work-related absences. Beyond the simple financial savings, the person's quality of life will improve substantially.
The proposed project is expected to contribute to the "improved techniques" of self-care, alongside creating new avenues for addressing other health problems.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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