Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Taking ACTION to Reduce Pain: a Randomized Clinical Trial of a Walking-Focused, Proactive Coaching Intervention for Black Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain.

Burgess DJ, Hagel Campbell E, Hammett P, Allen KD, Fu SS, Heapy A, Kerns RD, Krein SL, Meis LA, Bangerter A, Cross LJS, Do T, Saenger M, Taylor BC. Taking ACTION to Reduce Pain: a Randomized Clinical Trial of a Walking-Focused, Proactive Coaching Intervention for Black Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. Journal of general internal medicine. 2022 Nov 1; 37(14):3585-3593.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Black patients in the USA are disproportionately affected by chronic pain, yet there are few interventions that address these disparities. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a walking-focused, proactive coaching intervention aimed at addressing contributors to racial disparities in pain would improve chronic pain outcomes among Black patients compared to usual care. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial with masked outcome assessment ( : NCT01983228). PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred eighty Black patients at the Atlanta VA Health Care System with moderate to severe chronic back, hip, or knee pain. INTERVENTION: Six telephone coaching sessions over 8-14 weeks, proactively delivered, using action planning and motivational interviewing to increase walking, or usual care. MAIN MEASURES: Primary outcome was a 30% improvement in pain-related physical functioning (Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire [RMDQ]) over 6 months among Black patients, using intention-to-treat. Secondary outcomes were improvements in pain intensity and interference, depression, anxiety, global impression of change in pain, and average daily steps. KEY RESULTS: The intervention did not produce statistically significant effects on the primary outcome (at 6 months, 32.4% of intervention participants had 30% improvement on the RMDQ vs. 24.7% of patients in usual care; aOR = 1.61, 95% CI, 0.94 to 2.77), nor on other secondary outcomes assessed at 6 months, with the exception that intervention participants reported more favorable changes in pain relative to usual care (mean difference = -0.54, 95% CI, -0.85 to -0.23). Intervention participants also experienced a significant reduction in pain intensity and pain interference over 3 months (mean difference = -0.55, 95% CI, -0.88 to -0.22). CONCLUSIONS: A novel intervention to improve chronic pain among Black patients did not produce statistically significant improvements on the primary outcome relative to usual care. More intensive efforts are likely required among this population, many of whom were economically disadvantaged and had mental health comorbidities and physical limitations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT01983228.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.