An Australian study in the journal Pain reports that a FREE on-line course that employs CBT techniques has worked well in helping patients with chronic pain reduce both distress and other symptoms — no matter how much contact the patients had with a clinician during the several week course – and it clearly outperformed “usual care.”
The Pain Course was developed by psychologists as part of a non-profit initiative of the Centre for Emotional Health, part of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Their tagline reads: “Developing effective, accessible and free psychological treatments …” Before you get TOO excited, this particular course and the other on-line offerings of ecentreclinic.org which developed it are only open to residents of Australia.
Here’s a bit more about this group from their website: “We comprise a team of psychologists, psychiatrists, and research staff….The eCentreClinic is a specialised research clinic that develops and tests state-of-the-art free online treatment Courses for people with symptoms of worry, panic, social anxiety, OCD, PTSD, stress, depression, low mood and other health conditions including chronic pain. We built the eCentreClinic because millions of Australian adults suffer with these symptoms and conditions each year. But, most do not seek help or see a mental health professional. We believe that people have a right to helpful information and to know about practical, proven, skills that help. We hope that by providing this information and supporting people to learn these skills via the internet more people will learn to master their symptoms and conditions. By doing this we hope they will also improve their quality of life and that of their families and communities.
Here’s a link to the abstract. It is is an open access (free) article, so you can also download a pdf of the entire article here.