Last updated on March 2019

A Behavioral Intervention for Depression and Chronic Pain in Primary Care


Brief description of study

Chronic pain and depression frequently co-exist in late and mid-life and contribute to increased disability, high health care costs, psychiatric comorbidity, and suicide. The investigators will recruit 60 adults from two randomly assigned large WCMA primary care practices; one practice will offer Relief (a 9 session behavioral intervention) and the other will offer referral for mental health care.

Detailed Study Description

Chronic pain and depression frequently co-exist in late and mid-life and contribute to increased disability, high health care costs, psychiatric comorbidity, and suicide. Older and middle-aged depressed-pain patients: a) are mainly treated in primary care practices; and b) are often prescribed medication, which increases the risk for addiction to opioids and benzodiazepines. Despite the need - and desire by the patients and providers - for primary care behavioral intervention, behavioral interventions are scarce in primary care. To address this need, the investigators worked with primary care practices of the Weill Cornell Medical Associates (WCMA), and developed Relief, a 9-session behavioral intervention, designed to be administered by licensed social workers (LCSWs) and/or nurse practitioners (NP) in primary care practices.

The investigators will recruit 60 adults (50+ years old), from two randomly assigned large WCMA primary care practices that screen all patients for depression with the PHQ-9. One practice will offer Relief (N=40) and one will offer referral (based on clinical indication) for mental health care (N=20), provided at the practice site. Participants will have clinically significant depression (PHQ-9 10) and suffer from pain (during most days for 3 months). To facilitate future implementation studies, WCMA LCSWs and NPs will administer Relief. Assessments will be conducted at entry, and at 6, 9, & 12 weeks.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03265210

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