Veterans Walk to Beat Back Pain
This study was a randomized controlled trial of a pedometer-based, Internet-mediated intervention for Veterans with chronic back pain. The primary outcome was back pain-related disability as measured using the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ). The main finding was a greater reported decrease in back pain-related disability among intervention patients compared with those receiving usual care in the 6 months following study enrollment. Between-group differences were especially prominent for patients reporting greater baseline levels of disability but did not persist over 12 months. Opioid use was not a primary focus of this study. However, over 40% of study participants reported opioid use at baseline and a post-hoc analysis showed a significant increase in walking (as measured by step counts), which was a key part of the intervention, over the12 month study period among patients who were using opioids at baseline and who were assigned to the intervention group.