Information technologies can facilitate the implementation of health interventions, especially in the case of widespread conditions such as pain. Tailored Web-based interventions have been recognized for health behavior change among diverse populations. However, none of the systematic reviews looking at Web-based interventions for pain management has specifically addressed the contribution of tailoring.
The aims of this systematic review are to assess the effect of tailored Web-based pain management interventions on pain intensity and physical and psychological functions. Randomized controlled trials including adults suffering from any type of pain and involving Web-based interventions for pain management, using at least one of the three tailoring strategies (personalization, feedback, or adaptation), will be considered. The following types of comparisons will be carried out: tailored Web-based intervention with (1) usual care (passive control group), (2) face-to-face intervention, and (3) standardized Web-based intervention. The primary outcome will be pain intensity measured using a self-report measure such as the numeric rating scale (e.g., 0-10) or visual analog scale (e.g., 0-100). Secondary outcomes will include pain interference with activities and psychological well-being. A systematic review of English and French articles using MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library will be conducted from January 2000 to December 2015. Eligibility assessment will be performed independently in an unblinded standardized manner by two reviewers. Extracted data will include the following: sample size, demographics, dropout rate, number and type of study groups, type of pain, inclusion and exclusion criteria, study setting, type of Web-based intervention, tailoring strategy, comparator, type of pain intensity measure, pain-related disability and psychological well-being outcomes, and times of measurement. Disagreements between reviewers at the full-text level will be resolved by consulting a third reviewer, a senior researcher.
This systematic review is the first one looking at the specific ingredients and effects of tailored and Web-based interventions for pain management. Results of this systematic review could contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which Web-based interventions could be helpful for people facing pain problems.