Effectiveness of an eHealth self-management support program for persistent pain after breast cancer treatment

PECAN Trial

Effectiveness of an eHealth self-management support program for persistent pain after breast cancer treatment: a pragmatic, multi-centric randomized, controlled trial – PECAN Trial

The current state-of-the art advocates for a biopsychosocial rehabilitation approach for persistent pain after breast cancer treatment. Within this approach pain science education is combined with promotion of an active lifestyle based on self-regulation techniques. We argue for testing an innovative eHealth self-management support program for this purpose. The assumption is that this delivery mode reduces barriers to pain self-management support, through bringing timely support near to people, creating a safe environment as opposed to hospital settings, providing a multidimensional support model taking into account the biopsychosocial needs of patients, and lowering costs. This program can provide patients with the knowledge, proactive, cognitive and self-management skills to master their situation and journey towards less pain and pain-related disability and participation in normal life again. Therefore, the general aim of the proposed project is to investigate the effectiveness of an eHealth self-management support program for pain-related disability (I) in breast cancer survivors with persistent pain (P). The program makes use of an innovative chatbot format for delivering pain science education and motivating and monitoring physical activity. The eHealth program is automated and personalized using comprehensive decision-tree-based algorithms in order to promote pain self-management support. The primary scientific objective of the study is to determine the effectiveness of this eHealth self-management support program for persistent pain after breast cancer treatment compared to 1) usual care (i.e. superiority of the eHealth self-management support program) (C1) and 2) a comprehensive pain rehabilitation program delivered face-to-face in a physical therapy setting (i.e. non-inferiority of the eHealth self-management support program) (C2) on pain-related disability (O).

> CarEdOn primary researchers: Prof. An De Groef, Prof. Mira Meeus, Prof. Nele Devoogdt

> Research partners: Prof. Geert Crombez (Department of Psychology, UGent), Prof. Josefien van Olmen and Prof. Johan Wens (Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, UA), Prof. Wiebren Tjalma (Oncology Department, UZA), Prof. Ines Nevelsteen, Prof. Patrick Neven (Oncology Department, UZL), Mrs. Rani Vanhoudt (Oncology nurses, UZL), Prof. Bart Morlion (Leuvens Algologisch Center, UZL), Dr. Davina Wildemeersch (Pain Clinic, UZA), Prof. Lander Willem (Department of Family Medicine and Population Health (FAMPOP) and Centre of Health Economics Research and Modelling Infectious Diseases (CHERMID), UA), Dr. Femke De Backere (Internet Technology & Data Science Lab (IDLAB), UGent)

> Funding: Fonds Wetenschappenlijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen

> Keywords: chronic pain, physical activity, pain science education, cancer survivor

> Contact: an.degroef@uantwerpen.be 

Status
In preparation
Starting date
01/10/2022
Status reference