What is a web based intervention? Web based interventions in Clinical Psychology are either educational or therapeutic in nature and their aim is to help people psychologically in their own time and space with minimal if any cost. Web based interventions are on the increase over the last years given evidence for their effectiveness. E-ALGEA, aims to assess the effectiveness of "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy", a psychosocial intervention that has been shown help people with chronic pain, internationally.
How does the intervention help? Patients with chronic pain usually report problems with transportation, and this is either related to physical or psychological disability. Web-based interventions as opposed to face to face psychological interventions have the benefit that patients can visit the website as many times as they want, in an anonymous fashion – something which increases patient attainment to the programme- as well as decrease any distress that one on one therapy might have caused.
The programme helps patients through a multitude of techniques: 1) accepting their situation, 2) creating a new relationship with /perception of chronic pain, 3) acknowledging what is truly important in their life, 4) motivating the patient to move closer towards personally valuable goals. We hope that patients who will follow the intervention programme will show valuable improvements in terms of functionality as shown by decreased visits to medical establishments, decrease in absenteeism, decrease in medication intake, increase in quality of life, and mood improvement. The web-based intervention is also beneficial in that it can target remote areas, unlikely to be accessing one on one psychological support (e.g. farming districts in Cyprus and Greece) as well as other remote areas throughout Greece.
How will I use the programme? The programme is simple and self explanatory. The patient starts therapy by identifying patterns to their pain coping, identifying potential cognitive distortions and identifying personally valuable goals (e.g. having a closer relationship with their family members). Following this, they are asked to act in relation to their personal values. The main aim of the programme is for patients to continue living their life to the full, in spite of their pain.
Confidentiality issues: Data collected by the web-based intervention will be stored separately from other data, collected for this research. The web-intervention will have an access code, only known by the scientifically responsible researcher and the research assistant who is separately assigned to each web-based intervention. All the data collected prior to the intervention, during and post intervention will be stored under a numerical code, randomly associated to each participant.