Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 655

Full Length Research Paper

Internet-based interventions for pain management: A systematic review of randomised controlled trial (RCTs) conducted from 2010 to 2014

Ashraf El-Metwally
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Collage of Public Health and Health Informatics, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Received: 28 December 2014
  •  Accepted: 16 February 2015
  •  Published: 31 May 2015


Limited access to pain management programs was identified as one of the hindering factors in pain treatment. Several internet-based interventions have been developed to improve accessibility. A systematic review of trials of such programs in 2010 documented a preliminary promising effect.  A PubMed electronic search was used to identify a systematic randomized controlled trail (RCTs) published 1 January, 2010 to 4 November, 2014 that examined the effectiveness of internet-based pain management programs. The methodological vigorousness of trials was assessed by Jadad scoring system. Out of the 20 RCTs, 5 were on chronic pain, 2 were on acute non-specific pain, while 13 were on disease related pain (rheumatological and neurological diseases, burns, post-operative and cancer-related). Most studies had moderate methodological quality and showed consistent results with respect to effectiveness of internet based programs in reduction of pain, improvement in functionality and psychological well-being. Whilst the current systematic review found a significant pain reduction attributed to internet-based pain interventions further, high-quality RCT are needed to confirm such promising findings.


Key words: Pain, ache, migraine, sciatica, headache, management, treatment, technology, computer, computer-based, internet, internet-based, web, web-based, virtual.