Effect of perceived injustice-targeted pain neuroscience education compared with biomedically focused education in breast cancer survivors: a study protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial (BCS-PI trial)

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INTRODUCTION: Current treatments for pain in breast cancer survivors (BCSs) are mostly biomedically focused rather than biopsychosocially driven. However, 22% of BCSs with pain are experiencing perceived injustice, which is a known predictor for adverse pain outcomes and opioid prescription due to increased maladaptive pain behaviour. Educational interventions such as pain neuroscience education (PNE) are suggested to target perceived injustice. In addition, motivational interviewing can be an effective behavioural change technique. This trial aims to examine whether perceived injustice-targeted PNE with the integration of motivational interviewing is superior to biomedically focused pain education in reducing pain after 12 months in BCS with perceived injustice and pain. In addition, improvements in quality of life, perceived injustice and opioid use are evaluated, and a cost-effectiveness analysis will finally result in a recommendation concerning the use of perceived injustice-targeted PNE in BCSs with perceived injustice and pain.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This two-arm multicentre randomised controlled trial will recruit female BCS (n=156) with pain and perceived injustice. Participants will be randomly assigned to perceived injustice-targeted PNE or biomedically focused pain education in each centre. Both interventions include an online session, an information leaflet and three one-to-one sessions. The primary outcome (pain), secondary outcomes (quality of life, perceived injustice and outcomes for cost-effectiveness analysis) and explanatory outcomes (pain phenotyping, sleep, fatigue and cognitive-emotional factors) will be assessed at baseline and at 0, 6, 12 and 24 months postintervention using self-reported questionnaires online. Treatment effects over time will be evaluated using linear mixed model analyses. Additionally, a cost-utility analysis will be done from a healthcare payer and societal perspective.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The ethical agreement was obtained from the Main Ethics Committee (B.U.N.1432020000068) at the University Hospital Brussels and all other participating hospitals. Study results will be disseminated through presentations, conferences, social media, press and journals.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04730154.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummere075779
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftBMJ Open
Volume14
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
DOI's
StatusPublished - 17 jan 2024

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2024. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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