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Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Chronic (long-term) pain is defined as any pain that has lasted for more than 12 weeks. It is estimated that as many as 20% of adults in Europe experience moderate to severe chronic pain in their lifetime. In the UK, it is recommended that people suffering from chronic pain should be enrolled in pain management programmes (PMP). PMP’s are rehabilitation programmes designed to help people to cope with their pain, improving their day-to-day lives. In the past, these programmes are generally given in treatment centres such as hospitals or health centres. It has been found that reasons such as mobility problems, distance from the treatment centre and costs of getting there can mean that some people are unable to receive this treatment. There is growing evidence showing that interactive internet-based applications can help provide effective healthcare solutions for patients at home. The aim of this study is to see whether we can deliver an online PMP guided by clinicians (called My Pain Compass) to patients suffering from chronic pain so that we can then do a larger study in the future to test whether it works.

Who can participate?
Adults diagnosed with chronic pain, which has existed for a least 6 months.

What does the study involve?
Participants are guided through the 12 module programme over a period of 12 weeks. They are able tol speak to a psychologist or a physiotherapist once a week for 20 minutes via a video call, as well as being asked to complete worksheets and exercises in-between each session as part of the programme, e.g. writing down beliefs about pain, practising relaxation and stretching. Before they start using My Pain Compass and during the programme, participants record their daily pain and physical activity levels. At the start, half way through (6 weeks) and at the end (12 weeks) of the programme, participants also complete questionnaires about their levels of pain, independence, general health and their opinions on My Pain Compass. Additionally, seven of the participants are interviewed over the telephone half way through (6 weeks) and at the end (12 weeks) of the intervention about their experiences using the programme. The healthcare professionals are also asked to complete a questionnaire on their views of My Pain Compass.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Benefits of taking part in this study are the possibility of helping participants to manage their pain more effectively. There are no significant risks of participating, however people may experience some worry when trying this new programme. The programme aims to help build up confidence in managing pain slowly, so this risk is minimal.

Where is the study run from?
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
April 2016 to January 2017

Who is funding the study?
My Pain Ltd (UK)

Who is the main contact?
1. Dr Rahul Seewal (Public)
2. Dr Esther Flanagan (Scientific)

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Rahul Seewal


Contact details

49 Lullingstone Lane
Hither Green
SE13 6UH
United Kingdom



Additional contact

Dr Esther Flanagan


Contact details

My Pain
49 Lullingstone Lane
SE13 6UH
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

A single arm study investigating the feasibility of a clinician guided online pain management programme for people with chronic pain conditions


Study hypothesis

1. My Pain Compass is feasible to deliver and is acceptable to patients with chronic pain and clinicians
2. Collection of patient-reported outcome measures through My Pain Impact is feasible
3. There is initial evidence that My Pain Compass can alter daily measures of pain and physical activity

Ethics approval

London - Fulham Research Ethics Committee, 24/03/2016, REC Ref: 16/LO/0272

Study design

Replicated single-case design feasibility study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Feasibility study

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet


Chronic pain


The PMP (My Pain Compass) is provided online and will be accessed by the patient from an environment of their choosing. The My Pain Compass programme is estimated to take 12 weeks. The content of the modules is mainly delivered via animated videos, with some written text and interactive worksheets. A clinician will not be present when the patient is accessing and learning from the programme but will contact the patient via a 20 minute videoconference call (using software in-built into programme) once a week during the study. There are 12 modules included in the programme as follows:

Introduction to programme (what to expect from the programme)
Module 1: Understanding Pain (understand pain mechanisms, the impact of pain and introducing the CBT model)
Module 2: Understanding the body, healing and chronic pain (understanding injury and healing)
Module 3: Planning change (looking at personal values, setting goals and making plans)
Module 4: Pacing yourself (understanding unhelpful activity cycles and how to pace up activity)
Module 5: The Pain Compass (exploring connections between thoughts, emotions, behaviour and pain, and learning how to challenge unhelpful thoughts)
Module 6: Movement and stretching (the importance of movement and stretching and how to introduce them)
Module 7 - Improving Sleep (impact of pain on sleep, sleep hygiene and other strategies)
Module 8 - Learning relaxation (learning to let go of tension in the body)
Module 9 - Introducing mindfulness (learning the basic principles of mindfulness)
Module 10 - Communication & Pain (learning how pain can impact on communication and how to communicate effectively in different settings)
Module 11: Flare-ups (understanding and managing flare-ups)
Module 12: The future (identifying what helped, continuing to use skills, overcoming obstacles)

Within these modules participants will be asked to complete online worksheets, including goal-setting, thought records and a flare-up checklist.
Participants will be guided through the content and asked questions throughout as part of the learning objectives of the programme. Participants will complete one module at a time and will not be able to move onto the next module until they have completed the tasks set in the previous module.

The patient has access to the programme and will progress through treatment themselves. Every two weeks for the duration of the study they will have a 20 minute phone call with a clinician.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Feasibility of delivering My Pain Compass and its acceptability
1.1 How patients use My Pain Compass and their learning outcomes will captured by the computer software
1.2 Patient satisfaction questionnaire (CSQ-8) completed post intervention
1.3 Patient interviews completed mid- and post intervention
1.4 Clinician acceptability questionnaire completed post intervention
2. Feasibility of collecting data via My Pain Impact
2.1 PROMS completion rates are determined at baseline, mid- and post intervention using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Pain Self-Efficacy Scale (PSEQ), Pain Catastrophising Scale (PCS) and Depression, Anxiety and Positive Outlook Scale (DAPOS)
2.2 Pain score (0-10) reported weekly in video-conference with clinician
3. Initial evaluation of My Pain Compass
3.1 Physical activity (steps, distance) completed daily through baseline and intervention periods
3.2 Daily pain scores completed daily through baseline and intervention periods

Secondary outcome measures


Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Over 18 years of age
2. Diagnosed with a chronic pain condition for at least 6 months
3. If medicated for anxiety or depression, on a stable dose of medication as defined by no change in medication dose for 1 month or more
4. Full capacity to consent
5. Has regular access to the Internet and a smartphone / tablet / computer
6. Prepared and comfortable to regularly interface with a treatment modality primarily delivered through online methods including mobile devices
7. Able to understand the contents and participate in the language of the programme (English only)

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. People with an unstable mental health condition as determined by assessing clinician or GP
2. People with severe symptoms of depression >20 on Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) or suicidal/self-harming thoughts experienced more than half the days in the previous 2 weeks
3. People who already score highly on self-efficacy; 50 or more on the Pain Self Efficacy Scale (PSEQ; see outcomes section)
4. People with chronic headache, autoimmune diseases, malignant cancer pain, and facial pain
5. Participating in any psychological therapy for any condition at the point of recruitment
6. Previously accessed cognitive behavioural pain management

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
369 Fulham Road
SW10 9NH
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


My Pain Ltd

Sponsor details

49 Lullingstone Lane
SE13 6UH
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Sponsor details

Unit G3
Harbour Yard
Chelsea Harbour
SW10 0XD
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

Hospital/treatment centre



Funder type


Funder name

My Pain Ltd

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Planned submission to a high impact, peer reviewed journal (for example the BMJ).

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Not expected to be available

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

20/05/2016: the following changes were made to the trial record: 1. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was added as a sponsor. 2. The overall trial start dates were changed from 01/04/2016 - 31/01/2017 to 01/09/2016 - 30/06/2017. 3. The recruitment start dates were changed from to 01/04/2016 - 30/06/2016 to 01/10/2016 - 31/01/2017. 18/05/2016: Ethics approval information added. 15/12/2015: the following changes were made to the trial record: 1. The overall trial dates have been changed from 01/09/2015 - 31/08/2016 to 01/04/2016 - 31/01/2017 2. The recruitment dates have been changed from 01/10/2015 - 01/04/2016 to 01/04/2016 - 30/06/2016.