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Name of Media:

Rationale and Study Design of an Early Care, Therapeutic Education, and Psychological Intervention for the Management of Post-intensive Care Syndrome and Chronic Pain After Coronavirus Disease 2019 (PAIN-COVID): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial


Antonio Ojeda, Andrea Calvo, Tomas Cuñat, Ricard Mellado Artigas, Oscar Comino-Trinidad, Jorge Aliaga, Marilyn Arias, Maribel Ahuir, Carlos Ferrando, Christian Dürsteler

Publisher or Source:

Research Square

Type of Media:

Medical Journal

Media Originally for:

Critical Care Physicians,General Medical Professionals,Nurses and/or Other Critical Care Medical Professionals

Country of Origin:


Primary Focus of Media:

Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)

COVID-19 Related:



Background: Critically ill patients with COVID-19 disease are an especially susceptible population to develop Post-intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Patients can suffer acute severe pain and may have long-term deterioration in mental, cognitive, and functional health after discharge. However, few controlled trials are evaluating interventions for the prevention and treatment of PICS. The study hypothesis is that a specific care program based on early therapeutic education and a psychological intervention improves the quality of life of patients at risk of developing PICS and chronic pain after COVID-19 disease. The primary objective is to determine if the program is superior to standard-of-care on health-related life quality at six months after hospital discharge. The secondary objectives are to determine if the intervention is superior to standard care, evaluating the health-related life quality, the incidence of chronic pain and the degree of functional limitation, the incidence of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress syndrome at 3 and 6 months after hospital discharge.

Methods: The PAINCOVID trial is a unicentric randomized, controlled, patient blinded superiority trial with two parallel groups. The primary endpoint is the health-related quality of life at six months after hospital discharge, and randomization will be performed with a 1:1 allocation. This paper details the methodology and statistical analysis plan of the trial and was submitted before outcome data were available.

Discussion: This the first randomized clinical trial assessing the effectiveness of an early care therapeutic education, and psychological intervention for the management of PICS and Chronic Pain after COVID-19. The intervention will serve as a sample of the need to implement early care programs on early stages, having an incalculable impact given the current scenario of the pandemic.

Trial registration: This study is being in accordance with the tenets of the Helsinki Declaration, and has been approved by the authors’ institutional review board Comité Ético de Investigación Clínica del Hospital Clinic de Barcelona (approval number: HCB/2020/0549) and was registered on May 9, 2020 at (NCT04394169).

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