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Clinical Trial Summary

The EPPIC (Easing Pelvic Pain Interventions Clinical Research Program) study evaluates an ultra-brief, 4 session cognitive behavioral pain treatment transdiagnostic in design for urologic chronic pain syndrome (UCPPS) with clinical and practical advantages over existing behavioral therapies whose length and focus limits their adoption by clinicians and coverage for mechanistically similar comorbidities. A theoretically informed, practical, empirically grounded approach will systematically unpack CBT's working mechanisms, clarify for whom it works, ease dissemination, appeal to patients, providers, payers, and policy makers in the COVID-19 era favoring low resource intensity treatments, and reduce cost and inefficiencies associated with high intensity therapies whose complexity, length, and scarcity restricts uptake and impact.


Clinical Trial Description

Urologic chronic pelvic pain syndrome (UCPPS) encompasses several common, costly diagnoses including interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome that are poorly understood and inadequately treated. Their prolonged personal and economic costs are amplified by the frequent co-occurrence of a cluster of centralized pain conditions (particularly irritable bowel syndrome 3 [IBS]) but also fibromyalgia [FMS], chronic headache, chronic fatigue, etc.) called Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPC). Clinically, the notion that these syndromes share a centralized pain phenotype with a fundamental disturbance in pain or sensory processing dovetails with our preliminary research showing that a novel transdiagnostic behavioral treatment emphasizing a single common mechanistic pathway (i.e. inflexible cognitive style) reduces severity of both targeted (IBS) and untargeted multisymptom COPCs that include (but is not limited to) to UCPPS, FMS, chronic fatigue, and chronic headache. If effective in a larger scale study, a transdiagnostic UCPPS treatment would offer a more efficient, accessible, and broadly useful strategy for improving chronic pelvic pain and its most frequent and complicating comorbidities. To this end, the investigators will randomize 240 UCPPS subjects (18-70 yrs.) of any gender and race to a 4-session version of CBT that teaches skills for self-managing UCPPS symptoms (e.g. pelvic pain, urinary symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency) with minimal clinician oversight (MC-CBT) or a four-session non-specific education/support control (EDU). Efficacy assessments will be administered at pre-treatment baseline and two weeks after the end of the 10-week acute phase using the patient version of the Clinical Global Impressions Scale and validated with the physician version rated by MD assessors blind to treatment assignment. The investigators hypothesize MC-CBT will deliver significantly greater UCPPS symptom improvement than EDU (Aim 1). Additional aims include characterizing the durability of effects 3- and 6 months post treatment (Aim 2). To increase the efficacy and efficiency of behavioral pain treatments, the investigators draw upon Beck's transdiagnostic cognitive model to characterize the precise cognitive procedures and corresponding operative processes (e.g., cognitive distancing, context sensitivity, coping flexibility, repetitive negative thought) that drive MC-CBT induced UCPPS symptom relief relative to EDU (Aim 3) as well as baseline patient variables that moderate differential response (Aim 3) with the ultimate goal of more proactive patient-treatment matching fundamental to the goals of personalized medicine. By applying innovative statistical modelling (e.g. dominance analysis, Randomized Explanatory Trial analyses) to study aims in the context of a rigorously designed behavioral trial, the researchers expand the portfolio of nondrug pain treatments for UCPPS and co-aggregating COPCs to include one whose brevity, convenience, and transdiagnostic design "meets patients where they are" and addresses the practical (access, complexity, cost), clinical (breadth, durability, magnitude of effects, patient preference) and conceptual (untargeted comorbidities, non-pain somatic symptoms) challenges that have impeded uptake and public health impact of evidence-based behavioral pain treatments at a time when our most vulnerable high impact pain patients are in greatest need. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05127616
Study type Interventional
Source State University of New York at Buffalo
Contact Jeffrey Lackner, PsyD
Phone 716-898-5671
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase Phase 2/Phase 3
Start date January 1, 2022
Completion date October 2026

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