Postdoctoral Fellow, Pain Studies Lab
Areas of Research
Chronic pain, pain neuroscience education, virtual reality, neuroscience, disability
Pain neuroscience education (PNE) has been shown to be effective in reducing the pain burden in patients with chronic pain. These PNE sessions are designed to explain topics such as neuroscience of chronic pain development and the pathophysiology of pain persistence to alleviate dysfunctionality and pain catastrophizing in patients with chronic pain. However, PNE sessions are limited as most are organized as in-person workshops led by clinicians and experts in the field, and they are not adjusted based on the learning ability of each patient. Here, we designed a Comprehensive Patient-Centred Pain Education (CoPPE) package that has three main parts: 1) an in-person orientation session; 2) seven virtual and interactive educational interventions (30-minutes each); and 3) a closing in-person session. The virtual educational interventions include: completing a pain diary, a short five-minute video, and one easy-to-perform activity to promote lifestyle changes. For the first version, video topics include The Neuroscience of Pain, Biopsychosocial Model of Pain, Biological Aspects of Pain, Psychological Aspects of Pain, Social Aspects of Pain, Neuroscience of Pain Management Interventions, and Novel Pain Management Interventions. This version also provides patients with evidence-based information about positive lifestyle changes through each intervention.
After creating the CoPPE package, we will run a proof-of-concept study. We expect that by completing the CoPPE package, patients' pain intensity may be reduced, and pain disability measures and pain catastrophizing may be improved. After assessing and refining CoPPE, we expect that patients will experience better quality of life by completing this educational package.
Many patients with chronic pain suffer from their conditions while they need to wait for their appointment with their physicians and specialists in pain treatments. Because of COVID-19, this waiting time is prolonged. The CoPPE package could be used while people are waiting for their appointment and help patients learn about their condition and learn about easy-to-use methods to produce positive lifestyle changes. Moreover, the multimodal and virtual features of this package make it possible for all people around Canada to be able to use the package. Lastly, the CoPPE package could provide additional options for policymakers in the health fields to offer more broad, comprehensive and patient-centred educational packages for patients with chronic conditions.
About the Researcher
Zahra Ofoghi (she/her/hers) is a Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pain Studies Lab at Simon Fraser University. She acquired her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Calgary. She also has BA and MA degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tehran.
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