Article Title

Technical and Data Collection Challenges and Lessons Learned in the Pain Program for Active Coping and Training (PPACT) Pragmatic Trial

Publication Date



pragmatic, data collection


Background/Aims: Chronic pain affects at least 116 million adults in the United States and exacts a tremendous cost in suffering and lost productivity. While health systems offer specialized pain services, the primary care setting is where most patients seek and receive care for pain. The Pain Program for Active Coping and Training (PPACT) project is testing the effectiveness of integrating an evidence-based, interdisciplinary pain management intervention within a primary care environment.

Methods: The Kaiser Permanente Northwest (KPNW), Georgia (KPGA) and Hawaii (KPHI) regions are working with their regional health partners to recruit and implement the PPACT trial. Efforts at each clinical site involve extracting electronic medical record data via the virtual data warehouse and Clarity. KPNW built a tracking system to manage all the recruitment and implementation processes across the three regions. The tracking system serves to: 1) house records of study eligible patients; 2) manage touches with the PCPs prior to recruitment to ensure we recruit patients whom PCPs specifically believe this program would work best; 3) keep track of the recruitment efforts; 4) track all intervention activities; and 5) aide in data collection processes using KP.org questionnaires and Kaiser Permanente Message Center IVR surveys.

Results: We have implemented recruitment efforts across all regions using a staggered cohort approach. KPNW started cohort 1 as a pilot to firm up all tracking, recruitment and intervention processes. Both KPGA and KPHI are now in the field as well. We are continuing to refine our processes to meet the recruitment challenges we have encountered in the regions.

Discussion: Running a pragmatic trial embedded within a health care system is challenging but possible. Adequate collaboration with regional leaders, clinical managers and PCPs to learn the needs of patients and meet expectations for a complex trial is crucial, as is sufficient time to set up data collection processes within the health care setting and test research tracking systems and processes necessary to make operations run as smooth as possible. This presentation will highlight the technical and data collection challenges and lessons learned for conducting a pragmatic trial in a health care setting.




March 31st, 2015


April 28th, 2015