Living in Full Even With Pain Study (LIFE)

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    University of Washington
Updated on 9 May 2022
chronic pain
narcotic use
cognitive therapy


This project will increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying changes in opioid medication use associated with three psychosocial chronic pain (CP) treatments. These treatments are: (1) Cognitive Therapy (CT), (2) Mindfulness Meditation (MM), and (3) Activation Skills (AS). The sample will be adults with CP who are at risk of opioid misuse. The purpose of this study is to understand the specific ways these treatments work for reducing opioid use. In addition, the investigators are interested in examining moderators of treatment response. The findings will potentially inform the future streamlining of psychosocial treatments, as well as the development of algorithms for matching individuals with CP who are at risk for opioid misuse to the specific treatment most likely to efficiently optimize benefit.


This study involves participating in eight videoconference group treatment sessions and telephone interviews over the course of approximately eight to nine months. All study procedures will take place over videoconferencing computer software, online, or by telephone. There are no in-person visits for the study. Participants wear an activity monitor for about two and a half months starting two weeks before treatment begins. They will also complete brief online surveys twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, for about two and a half months starting two weeks before treatment begins. These surveys will be completed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Extended Assessments

During the study, participants would also complete four extended assessments with a research staff member. The first interview is completed before treatment begins, the second is completed after treatment ends, the third is completed three months after treatment ends, and the fourth and final is completed six months after treatment ends. The first two extended assessments (Pre- and Post-Treatment) are completed with a research staff member verbally over the telephone. The final two extended assessments (3-month and 6-month Follow-up) may be completed either with a research staff member verbally over the telephone or independently online.

Online Surveys

About two weeks before treatment starts, participants begin doing brief (~2-5 minutes) online surveys twice a day. The online surveys can be completed on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Automated notifications in the morning and in the evening remind the participant to complete the brief survey twice a day.

Activity Monitor

Participants wear an activity monitor 24 hours a day for the 2.5-month Monitoring Period (which spans two weeks before treatment to one month after treatment). The activity monitor is worn on the non-dominant wrist, like a wristwatch.

Weekly Interviews

Beginning two weeks prior to treatment, participants will be contacted weekly by a staff member to complete a telephone survey. Participants complete 10 total surveys over the course of 10 weeks, concluding about one month after treatment ends. Each survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes.


Participants are randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups. Treatment consists of eight group treatment sessions completed remotely over a videoconferencing platform. There will be, on average, two sessions per week, and each session will take up to 90 minutes. Each treatment session will take place over the internet on a computer, tablet, or smartphone using the videoconference application. Each session will be led by the same study clinician, who is a trained clinical psychologist. Participants will be required to use a video camera and audio through either a microphone or phone for each group treatment session.

All three treatment interventions will involve educating participants about pain, discussing the impact of pain, and discussing different ways to manage it in hopes of decreasing pain and its impact. The three treatments are: (1) Mindfulness Meditation, (2) Cognitive Therapy, and (3) Activation Skills.

Each treatment intervention will have home practice activities to complete between sessions. Home practice activities may include, but are not limited to, creating thought records, listening to pre-recorded guided practices, and keeping track of activities and goals. Participants also receive a treatment workbook with materials to refer to and discuss during the group sessions as well as additional materials to read between sessions.

Condition Musculoskeletal Pain, Chronic Pain
Treatment Cognitive Therapy (CT), Mindfulness Meditation (MM), Activation Skills (AS)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03916276
SponsorUniversity of Washington
Last Modified on9 May 2022

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