Strategies to Assist With Management of Pain

A Comparative Effectiveness Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation Versus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Opioid-Treated Chronic Low Back Pain

Sponsors

Lead Sponsor: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Collaborator: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Source University of Wisconsin, Madison
Brief Summary

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) has no known effective treatment. While often treated with long-term opioid therapy, opioids do not work well for many patients and can cause serious side effects, including addiction, poorer mental health, and overdose death. Even when paired with a standard-of-care cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), results are limited. Patients, families and clinicians are very interested in using alternative treatments for CLBP, especially complementary and integrative treatments such as mindfulness meditation (MM). MM helps train the mind to bring non-judgmental and accepting attention to present-moment experiences such as pain. MM offers an active and safe self-care approach to chronic pain that contrasts with the passive and potentially harmful nature of opioid treatment, and may prove more effective than CBT in helping improve health and well-being, and reduce reliance on opioids in adults with opioid-treated CLBP. Although this hypothesis is supported by early research, including a pilot study by the Principal Investigator, evidence on MM's effectiveness in this population is inconclusive, presenting a critical knowledge gap.

With input from patients, family members, and clinicians, the Investigators have designed a study to address this gap and propose a clinical trial that will compare the effectiveness of MM to standard-of-care CBT in opioid-treated CLBP. Based on the existing research, it is hypothesized that MM training will lead to a larger reduction in pain intensity, increase in physical function, improvement in quality of life, and decrease in daily opioid dose, as compared to CBT training, with benefits of MM especially notable in adults with worse mood, anxiety or unhealthy opioid-use behaviors who often experience more severe symptoms of CLBP and less improvement in response to existing therapies.

To test these hypotheses, 766 adults with opioid-treated CLBP from Madison, WI, Boston, MA, and Salt Lake City, will be randomly assigned into one of two 8-week treatment groups: MM (383 participants) that will receive the MM training or CBT (383 participants) that will receive the CBT training. The effectiveness of MM versus CBT will be assessed over a 12-month period with patient-reported measures, recommended by experts and endorsed by our stakeholder partners, including patients with opioid-treated CLBP, their families and clinicians.

Detailed Description

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is the most common disabling chronic noncancer pain condition treated with opioids. Many opioid-treated patients experience inadequate pain relief and disability as well as dose-dependent adverse effects of opioids, such as worse mental health, opioid misuse, overdose and death. They frequently have co-occurring depression, anxiety, and opioid use disorders, which worsen outcomes. Poor outcomes and opioid-related harms underscore the need for safe and effective strategies for chronic pain care and opioid dose reduction, especially in high-impact, opioid-treated pain, as noted by the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Current pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of mindfulness meditation (MM), a popular mind-body modality, demonstrated its potential to safely improve the health of patients and reduce opioid dosage in opioid-treated CLBP. To expand the evidence for MM for use in opioid-treated chronic pain, the Investigators propose a 5-year multi-site, mixed-methods pragmatic RCT comparing the effectiveness of MM to standard-of-care cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for improving outcomes in opioid-treated CLBP. The study team will follow 766 participants over 12 months and compare outcomes that matter to patients and their families in 383 adults randomized to the MM group to 383 adults randomized to the CBT group, controlling for relevant factors.

The specific aims of this study are:

1. To compare the effectiveness of MM to CBT for reducing pain and increasing function. Current study is based on hypothesis that adults with opioid-treated CLBP in the MM group will report a greater reduction in pain severity and a greater increase in function at 6 and 12 months compared to those in the CBT group.

2. To compare the effectiveness of MM to CBT for improving quality of life (QoL) and reducing daily opioid dose. Study team hypothesize that adults with opioid-treated CLBP in the MM group will report a greater improvement in QoL and a greater decrease in daily opioid dose at 6 and 12 months compared to those in the CBT group.

3. To examine if participant baseline characteristics impact treatment response to MM or CBT. Study team hypothesize that among those with increased baseline symptom severity of anxiety, depression and opioid misuse behaviors, MM will be more beneficial than CBT for improving Aim 1 and Aim 2 outcomes.

Both MM and CBT interventions are patterned after established programs, adapted to meet the needs of patients with opioid-treated CLBP, with input from content experts and patient partners. The manualized interventions will be delivered by trained therapists over 8 weeks in weekly two-hour group sessions in addition to care the participants are already receiving from their regular clinicians; participants will also be asked to practice MM or CBT strategies at home during the entire study (at least 30 minutes/day, 6 days/week).

Eligibility criteria will focus on English-speaking adults ≥21 years old, with moderate-to-severe CLBP treated with ≥15 mg/day of morphine-equivalent opioid dose for ≥3 months. The study will implement a limited set of exclusionary criteria to ensure a diverse sample, from which findings can be generalized.

Outcome measures were selected and prioritized based on guidelines and stakeholder input. They will be collected at baseline, at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Only baseline and 12 months post-entry data collection will be conducted in person; the 3, 6, and 9-month data collection will occur online or by phone to minimize burden. Pain severity and function, as assessed by standard, validated survey measures, will serve as primary (Aim 1), and quality of life and opioid dose (morphine-equivalent mg/day) as secondary (Aim 2) outcomes. Severity of negative affect (depression, anxiety) and opioid misuse behaviors, also measured by validated surveys, are the main hypothesized predictors of treatment success (Aim 3). The repeated measures intention-to-treat outcome analysis will compare the change in primary and secondary outcomes over the 12 month period and across the two groups. To determine prognostic factors of treatment effect, a linear mixed model analysis will be performed for Aim 1 and Aim 2 outcomes, adjusting for potential confounders, study site and a random intercept for subject.

A team of experienced investigators and engaged stakeholders will carry out this multi-health system, multi-site study led by the faculty from the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI), Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) and the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT). Stakeholders helped develop this proposal and will be integrally involved as partners in all aspects of the study, from finalizing the methods, trouble-shooting implementation of the research plan, and dissemination of results.

Positive findings of this study could help improve health outcomes and reduce daily opioid dose in patients with opioid-treated CLBP, and inform clinical decisions of patients and clinicians about the choice between MM and CBT for opioid-treated CLBP.

Overall Status Recruiting
Start Date June 30, 2017
Completion Date July 15, 2021
Primary Completion Date June 30, 2021
Phase N/A
Study Type Interventional
Primary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Pain Intensity Baseline to 12 months
Physical Function Baseline to 12 months
Secondary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Quality of Life Baseline to 12 months
Daily Opioid Dose Baseline to 12 months
Enrollment 766
Condition
Intervention

Intervention Type: Behavioral

Intervention Name: Mindfulness Meditation

Description: The Mindfulness Meditation intervention will teach participants the mindfulness meditation-based strategies, tailored to the needs of those with opioid-treated chronic lower back pain. It consists of eight weekly 2-hour group sessions guided by trained therapists. In addition to session attendance, participants are asked to practice at home at least 6 days/week, 30 minutes/day during the study. In addition to the intervention, the participants will receive usual care for opioid-treated CLBP through their regular clinicians, per their recommendations.

Arm Group Label: Mindfulness Meditation

Intervention Type: Behavioral

Intervention Name: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Description: The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) intervention will teach participants the CBT-based strategies, tailored to the needs of those with opioid-treated chronic lower back pain. It consists of eight weekly 2-hour group sessions guided by trained therapists. In addition to session attendance, participants are asked to practice at home at least 6 days/week, 30 minutes/day during the study. In addition to the intervention, the participants will receive usual care for opioid-treated CLBP through their regular clinicians, per their recommendations.

Arm Group Label: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Other Name: CBT

Eligibility

Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria (per self-report): English-speaking; age ≥ 21 years old; chronic low back pain (defined as a pain in lumbosacral region or sciatica for ≥3 months), with an average daily back pain score ≥3 on a 0-10 numerical rating scale (question from the Brief Pain Inventory), treated with ≥30 mg/day of morphine-equivalent dose for ≥3 months; at least moderate CLBP-related disability (≥21 score on the Oswestry Disability Index); capable of giving informed consent; willing to complete the study activities.

Exclusion Criteria (per self-report): prior formal Mindfulness Meditation or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training; current pregnancy; diagnosis of borderline personality, delusional, or bipolar (mania) disorder; inability to safely or reliably participate in the study.

Gender: All

Minimum Age: 21 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Healthy Volunteers: No

Overall Official
Last Name Role Affiliation
Aleksandra E Zgierska, MD PhD Principal Investigator University of Wisconsin, Madison
Overall Contact

Last Name: Cindy A Burzinski, MS

Phone: 608-262-6549

Email: [email protected]

Location
Facility: Status: Contact: Investigator:
Brigham and Women's Hospital | Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, United States Recruiting Lauren Papianou, BS 617-732-9181 [email protected] Robert Edwards, PhD Principal Investigator
University of Utah | Salt Lake City, Utah, 84112, United States Recruiting Amy Watson, BS 801-581-6276 [email protected] Eric Garland, PhD Principal Investigator
University of Wisconsin-Madison | Madison, Wisconsin, 53715, United States Recruiting Cindy A Burzinski, MS 608-262-6549 [email protected] Aleksandra E Zgierska, MD PhD Principal Investigator
Location Countries

United States

Verification Date

November 2019

Responsible Party

Type: Sponsor

Keywords
Has Expanded Access No
Condition Browse
Number Of Arms 2
Arm Group

Label: Mindfulness Meditation

Type: Experimental

Description: Mindfulness Meditation intervention, adjunctive to usual care for opioid-treated chronic low back pain.

Label: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Type: Active Comparator

Description: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy intervention, adjunctive to usual care for opioid-treated chronic low back pain.

Acronym STAMP
Patient Data Yes
Study Design Info

Allocation: Randomized

Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment

Intervention Model Description: Comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial of two behavioral interventions

Primary Purpose: Treatment

Masking: Single (Investigator)

Masking Description: Although participants, therapists and outcome assessors cannot be blinded to the study intervention, investigators and analysts will be blinded to the group status until the first stages of analysis and reporting are completed.

Source: ClinicalTrials.gov