Randomised controlled trial shows back pain app outperforms standard-of-care treatment across all medical outcomes
In the largest independent randomised controlled trial (RCT) of its type, a multimodal app-based therapy program for patients with non-specific low back pain has outperformed standard-of-care treatment across all medical outcomes.
Results of the study, published in the Journal of Pain Research, show that patients using Kaia, a back pain management app developed by Kaia Health, reduced pain levels, anxiety, depression, stress, and improved wellbeing and body functionality significantly more compared to standard-of-care treatments (which can be whatever the physicians typically prescribe, e.g. pain killers, surgeries, physical therapy).
“This large-scale study demonstrates the significant benefits for people managing low back pain when using Kaia to deliver a multimodal treatment through a digital device, such as a smartphone,” said Thomas R. Toelle, M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Pain Center of the Technical University Munich, Germany. “These results add to the growing body of medical evidence that supports the use of digital multimodal treatments for chronic conditions, such as back pain.”
In the study, 1,245 patients with low back pain were randomised either to the intervention group (n=933) or the control group (n=312). The intervention group (IG) used the Kaia app with physicians applying a treatment algorithm. In the control group (CG), physicians prescribed standard-of-care treatments.
Pain rating on the numeric rating scale was the primary outcome measure. Psychological measures (anxiety, depression, stress), functional ability, as well as physical and mental wellbeing, served as secondary outcomes.
Patients were assessed at the beginning of the treatment and at three-month follow-ups.
According to the RCT, the IG group showed a significantly stronger pain reduction compared to the CG after three months (IG: M=-33.3 percent vs CG: M=-14.3 percent).
In addition, results showed the IG group was also superior in secondary outcomes. Furthermore, high-risk patients who received a teleconsultation showed a larger decrease in pain intensity (-43.5 percent) than CG patients (-14.3 percent).
Kaia Founder and President Konstantin Mehl commented: “COVID is changing the way that health care is delivered and driving a meaningful increase in demand for multimodal virtual therapy solutions. We’re focused on the highest level of clinical rigor to protect the health of patients, and significantly improve their chronic pain; remotely, effectively and at scale.
“Companies looking to integrate digital back pain therapy into their health plan for employees can trust that the Kaia treatment is medically sound.”
Available on the AppStore and Google Play, Kaia is an app-based, multimodal digital therapy treatment for back pain, which focuses on physical therapy, relaxation exercises, and medical education.