INTRODUCTION: Difficulties in emotional regulation are key to the development and maintenance of chronic pain . Recent evidence shows internet-delivered dialectic behaviour therapy (iDBT) skills training can reduce emotional dysregulation and pain intensity . However, further studies are needed to provide more definitive evidence regarding the efficacy of iDBT skills training in the chronic pain population .
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A single-case experimental design (SCED) with multiple baselines will be used to examine the efficacy of a 4-week iDBT-Pain skills training intervention (iDBT-Pain intervention) to reduce emotional dysregulation and pain intensity in individuals with chronic pain . The iDBT-Pain intervention encompasses two components: (1) iDBT-Pain skills training sessions (iDBT-Pain sessions) and (2) the iDBT-Pain skills training web application (iDBT-Pain app). Three individuals with chronic pain will be recruited and randomly allocated to different baseline phases (5 , 9 or 12 days). Following the baseline phase, participants will receive six 60-90 min iDBT-Pain sessions approximately 4 or 5 days apart, delivered by a psychologist via Zoom . To reinforce learnings from the iDBT-Pain sessions, participants will have unlimited use of the iDBT-Pain app . A 7-day follow-up phase (maintenance) will follow the intervention, whereby the iDBT-Pain sessions cease but the iDBT-Pain app is accessible . Emotional regulation, as the primary outcome measure, will be assessed using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale . Pain intensity, as the secondary outcome measure, will be assessed using a visual analogue scale . Generalisation measures will assess psychological state factors (depression, anxiety and coping behaviour), alongside sleep quality, well-being and harm avoidance . SCEDs are increasingly considered effective designs for internet-delivered psychological interventions because SCED enables the investigation of interindividual variability in a heterogeneous population such as chronic pain .
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This trial was approved by the University of New South Wales (HC200199). Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals .
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12620000604909.