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Acceptability of telephone-based pain coping skills training among African Americans with osteoarthritis enrolled in a randomized controlled trial: a mixed methods analysis.

Dharmasri CJ, Griesemer I, Arbeeva L, Campbell LC, Cené CW, Keefe FJ, Oddone EZ, Somers TJ, Allen KD. Acceptability of telephone-based pain coping skills training among African Americans with osteoarthritis enrolled in a randomized controlled trial: a mixed methods analysis. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2020 Aug 14; 21(1):545.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis (OA) disproportionately impacts African Americans compared to Caucasians, including greater pain severity. The Pain Coping Skills Training for African Americans with Osteoarthritis (STAART) study examined a culturally enhanced Pain Coping Skills Training (CST) program among African Americans with OA. This mixed methods study evaluated the acceptability of the Pain CST program among STAART participants. METHODS: STAART was a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of an 11-session, telephone-based pain CST program, compared to a usual care control group. Participants were from the University of North Carolina and Durham Veterans Affairs Healthcare Systems. The present analyses included 93 participants in the CST group who completed a questionnaire about experiences with the program. Descriptive statistics of the questionnaire responses were calculated using SAS software. Thematic analysis was applied to open-response data using Dedoose software. RESULTS: Participants' mean rating of overall helpfulness of the pain CST program for managing arthritis symptoms was 8.0 (SD = 2.2) on a scale of 0-10. A majority of participants reported the program made a positive difference in their experience with arthritis (83.1%). Mean ratings of helpfulness of the specific skills ranged from 7.7 to 8.8 (all scales 0-10). Qualitative analysis of the open-response data identified four prominent themes: Improved Pain Coping, Mood and Emotional Benefits, Improved Physical Functioning, and experiences related to Intervention Delivery. CONCLUSIONS: The high ratings of helpfulness demonstrate acceptability of this culturally enhanced pain CST program by African Americans with OA. Increasing access to cognitive-behavioral therapy-based programs may be a promising strategy to address racial disparities in OA-related pain and associated outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02560922 , registered September 25, 2015.





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