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Front Med (Lausanne)


OBJECTIVE: The Electronic Chronic Pain Questions (eCPQ) has been developed to help healthcare providers systematically capture chronic pain data. This study evaluated the impact of using the eCPQ on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) in a primary care setting, and patient and physician perceptions regarding use of, and satisfaction with, the eCPQ.

METHODS: This was a prospective pragmatic study conducted at the Internal Medicine clinic within the Henry Ford Health (HFH) Detroit campus between June 2017 and April 2020. Patients (aged ≥18 years) attending the clinic for chronic pain were allocated to an Intervention Group to complete the eCPQ in addition to regular care, or a control group to receive regular care only. The Patient Health Questionnaire-2 and a Patient Global Assessment were assessed at baseline, 6-months, and 12-months study visits. HCRU data were extracted from the HFH database. Telephone qualitative interviews were conducted with randomly selected patients and physicians who used the eCPQ.

RESULTS: Two hundred patients were enrolled, 79 in each treatment group completed all 3 study visits. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were found in PROs and HCRU between the 2 groups. In qualitative interviews, physicians and patients reported the eCPQ as useful, and using the eCPQ improved patient-clinician interactions.

CONCLUSION: Adding the eCPQ to regular care for patients with chronic pain did not significantly impact the PROs assessed in this study. However, qualitative interviews suggested that the eCPQ was a well-accepted and potentially useful tool from a patient and physician perspective. By using the eCPQ, patients were better prepared when they attended a primary care visit for their chronic pain and the quality of patient-physician communication was increased.

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