Design of the integrative medical group visits randomized control trial for underserved patients with chronic pain and depression

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Behavioral Medicine | Health Information Technology | Health Psychology | Integrative Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Pain Management | Primary Care | Psychiatry and Psychology


BACKGROUND: Given the public health crisis of opioid overprescribing for pain, there is a need for evidence-based non pharmacological treatment options that effectively reduce pain and depression. We aim to examine the effectiveness of the Integrative Medical Group Visits (IMGV) model in reducing chronic pain and depressive symptoms, as well as increasing pain self-management.

METHODS: This paper details the study design and implementation of an ongoing randomized controlled trial of the IMGV model as compared to primary care visits. The research aims to determine if the IMGV model is effective in achieving: a) a reduction in self-reported pain and depressive symptoms and 2) an improvement in the self-management of pain, through increasing pain self-efficacy and reducing use of self-reported pain medication. We intend to recruit 154 participants to be randomized in our intervention, the IMGV model (n=77) and to usual care (n=77).

CONCLUSIONS: Usual care of chronic pain through pharmacological treatment has mixed evidence of efficacy and may not improve quality of life or functional status. We aim to conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the IMGV model as compared to usual care in reducing self-reported pain and depressive symptoms as well as increasing pain management skills.


Integrative medicine, Medical group visits, Mindfulness, Mindfulness based stress reduction, Shared medical appointments, eHealth

DOI of Published Version



Contemp Clin Trials. 2017 Mar;54:25-35. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2016.12.013. Epub 2016 Dec 13. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Contemporary clinical trials


At the time of publication, Paula Gardiner was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Full author list omitted for brevity. For the full list of authors, see article.

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID