, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 93-101,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Interactive voice response technology for symptom monitoring and as an adjunct to the treatment of chronic pain

ABSTRACT

Chronic pain is a medical condition that severely decreases the quality of life for those who struggle to cope with it. Interactive voice response (IVR) technology has the ability to track symptoms and disease progression, to investigate the relationships between symptom patterns and clinical outcomes, to assess the efficacy of ongoing treatments, and to directly serve as an adjunct to therapeutic treatment for chronic pain. While many approaches exist toward the management of chronic pain, all have their pitfalls and none work universally. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one approach that has been shown to be fairly effective, and therapeutic interactive voice response technology provides a convenient and easy-to-use means of extending the therapeutic gains of CBT long after patients have discontinued clinical visitations. This review summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of IVR technology, provides evidence for the efficacy of the method in monitoring and managing chronic pain, and addresses potential future directions that the technology may take as a therapeutic intervention in its own right.

Implications

Researchers: this detailed review of the literature will give broad information about the use of telephone-based technology in clinical research.
Practitioners: this review of the literature will give practitioners information on how the telephone-based technology can help patients with chronic pain to prevent relapse into pain behavior.
Policymakers: this review of the literature may help policymakers in making decisions regarding insurance coverage for computerized treatments.