Eventbrite - Chronic Pain Study: Integrative Health Group 6 Week Pilot Program

Integrative Health Group Visits (IHGV): A Pilot Feasibility Study to Manage People with Chronic Pain in a Nordic Inner-City Medical Clinic


Chronic pain is a condition that 75% of North American clinic centers, which practice integrative medicine, report the most clinical success[1]. Increasingly, evidence suggests that Integrative Health and Medicine (IHM) visits are effective for treating chronic pain; similarly, a number of studies demonstrate the effectiveness of certain evidence-based complementary therapies in managing pain.


The primary goal of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of the integrative health group visit (IHGV) care model in a Nordic inner-city outpatient medical clinic. IHGV combines patient-centered, non-pharmacologic strategies and principles of National Institute of Health / National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH NCCIH) recommended therapies for the management of chronic pain and associated symptoms.

We will survey groups of people, pre and post, who will each undergo a 6 week/8-session IHGV program (6-7 groups; median 12 people/group; range 8-14 participants) over the course of 12 months to evaluate changes in pain (0-10 point scale), sleep quality and co-morbid symptoms including perceived stress, anxiety and depression (Patient Health Questionaire 15 [PHQ-15], Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Autonomic Symptoms Questionnaire)

Proposed Results and Conclusion:

Based on the overall findings of the NIH NCCIH / Mayo Clinic Review, as well as the Boston Medical Center (BMC) Integrative Medicine Group Visit (IMGV) 2014 study, we now propose a similarly inspired pilot study to begin a process to determine feasibility in the Nordic region. The 2014 IMGV study, which combined both conventional and integrative medicine therapies, enrolled 65 (93%) out of 75 people in the study. Over the course of 12 months, 7 groups met (median 9 patients/group; range 8-13 participants). Mean difference in pain level for all patients between baseline and 8 weeks was 0.7 (SD=2.0, P=.005). Mean difference in PHQ-8 depression score for patients with baseline score ≥5 was 2.6 (SD=4.6, P<.001). Statistically significant improvements were also seen in sleep quality and perceived stress.

Key Words:

Group medical visit, patient-centered non-pharmacologic strategies, chronic pain, Integrative Health Group Visits (IHGV), National Institute of Health (NIH), National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), Integrative Medicine Group Visits (IMGV), Integrative Health and Medicine (IHM)

[1] Integrative Medicine in America: How Integrative Medicine is Being Practiced in Clinical Centers Across the United States, The Bravewell Collaborative, 2012, page 34