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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 15

BMJ Open



Agile development of a digital exposure treatment for youth with chronic musculoskeletal pain: protocol of a user-centred design approach and examination of feasibility and preliminary efficacy.


Harrison LE, Webster SN, Van Orden AR, Choate E, Jehl N, Stinson J, Wicksell RK, Darnall BD, Simons LE
BMJ Open. 2022 Sep 15; 12(9):e065997.
PMID: 36109029.


Chronic pain affects a significant number of children and impacts multiple domains including social, emotional and behavioural functioning, and negatively impacts family functioning. Roughly 5% of youth with chronic pain experience moderate to severe pain-related disability, with pain-related fear and avoidance of activities being identified as substantial barriers to treatment engagement. Evidence supports targeted psychological and physical interventions to address these barriers (eg, graded-exposure treatment), but accessibility to intervention is undermined by a shortage of services outside of urban areas, high treatment-related costs, and long provider waitlists; highlighting the need to develop digitally delivered behavioural intervention, using agile and iterative study designs that support rapid development and timely dissemination.