There is growing interest in the potential of internet-delivered pain management programs (PMPs) to increase access to care for people with chronic pain. However, very few economic evaluations of these interventions have been reported. Using existing data, the current study examined the cost-effectiveness of an internet-delivered PMP for a mixed group chronic pain patients (n = 490) provided with different levels of clinician support. The findings indicated that each additional clinical outcome (defined as a ≥ 30% reduction in disability, depression, anxiety, and pain) was associated with cost-savings when the intervention was provided in a self-guided format (ICER range: −$404–−$808 AUD) or an optional-guided format (ICER range: −$314–−$541 AUD), and a relatively small fixed cost when provided in the clinician-guided format (ICER range: $88–$225 AUD). The results were driven by a reduction in service use costs among the treatment groups, which offset the costs of providing the internet-delivered PMP in the self-guided and optional-guided formats. The same general pattern of results was found when more stringent clinical outcomes (defined as a ≥ 50% reduction) were employed. These findings suggest that carefully developed and administered internet-delivered PMPs, provided with different levels of clinician support, can be highly cost effective for patients with a broad range of pain conditions. Perspective: This study examines the cost-effectiveness of an internet-delivered PMP provided to adults with a broad range of chronic pain conditions. Evidence of cost-effectiveness was found across a broad range of clinical outcomes and with different levels of clinician support.
Journal of Pain
344 - 358