Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Chronic Pain Self-Management Within the Context of Opioid Reduction: The EMPOWER Study

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Stanford University
Updated on 27 February 2022
behavior therapy
chronic pain
back pain
cancer pain
narcotic use
cognitive therapy
pain relieving


The proposed study will fill several critical gaps in evidence that are preventing patients and physicians from making informed decisions about their pain care. This project will provide patients taking opioids and physicians with the specific evidence they need to choose the most effective route to pain control, reduced pain interference, opioid reduction, and improved role function, thereby improving patient care.

The aims of this study are to (1) reduce or contain prescription opioid use while maintaining pain control and (2) compare the effectiveness of the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for chronic pain (pain-CBT), and no behavioral treatment within the context of patient-centered collaborative opioid tapering (Taper Only).

The acronym EMPOWER stands for Effective Management of Pain and Opioid-Free Ways to Enhance Relief.

To learn more about the EMPOWER study, please visit:

Condition Chronic Pain
Treatment Usual Care, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Chronic Pain Self Management Program
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03445988
SponsorStanford University
Last Modified on27 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Chronic non-cancer pain ( 6 months in duration)
Currently receiving prescription opioids ( 10 MEDD) for 3 months

Exclusion Criteria

Unable to provide informed consent
Unable to participate in group treatments in a meaningful way (e.g., evident cognitive impairment or lack of English fluency)
Moderate to severe opioid use disorder
To learn more about our recruitment, please visit:
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How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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