A PhD research plan: Cultural adaptation and implementation of Pain Education program for Chinese Chronic Low Back Pain Population in a Chinese physiotherapeutic environment

Introducing and integrating Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE)  in ChinaNVGF intents to introduce and integrate "Pain Neuroscience Education" (PNE) to China's healthcare system. Main researcher from NVGF and clinician, Ms. Yijun Li, devised a research plan to take the lead in this ambitious enterprise

This project aims to culturally adapt and implement a pain education (PE) program for chronic-low-back-pain (CLBP) patients in a Chinese physiotherapeutic environment. PE is a clinical treatment to cultivate patients’ understanding of biopsychosocial view of pain and to promote active pain-coping-strategies. It has considerable clinical improvement on pain and disability during the treatment of chronic pain. However, due to the variations of pain perceptions1 and treatments2 in China, culturally adapting and implementing a non-native PE-program should be studied before implementation.

The project originates from a suggested cultural-adaptation-framework3, including two qualitative studies and one quantitative study :

1) Conduct in-depth and semi-structured individual interviews to explore Chinese physiotherapists’ comprehension about pain, PE and the implementation of PE in clinical practices. We will account the interview results into our preliminary PE-program.

2) Organize focus groups with Chinese physiotherapists and CLBP patients to discuss our preliminary program. The results will reflect in the final construct of the PE-program.

3) Perform a randomized-controlled-trial to assess the PE-program’s effect on disability (primary outcome), pain, illness perceptions, pain catastrophizing, kinesiophobia and self-efficacy in Chinese CLBP patients.

This project constructs a culturally-sensitive PE-program and emphasizes systematic adaption by considering the environmental factors that influence the program implementation and people involved.

Conducting this project itself, e.g., balancing the expectation of the European research team and Chinese partners, is a cultural adaptation.

Based on current interview results, educating pain neuroscience to Chinese physiotherapists is necessary.

Source: Research portal of the Vrije University Brussel

Poster presentation at academic congress

During the Pain Science In Motion congress IV (2022) in Maastricht, Ms. Yijun Li presented her systematic research plan to fellow PhD researchers and professors. It is expected that the first results can be presented between 2022 and 2025. 

Every two years the Pain Science in Motion congress is organised to increase awareness on the relevance of pain. The focus of this research colloquium is on research methods in pain sciences, rather than on research findings or (clinical) applications of research findings from pain science

  • Update: NVGF is proud and honoured to announce that an international research agreement is officially signed!
    NVGF is proud and honoured to announce that an international research agreement between NVGF and the Bengbu Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine was officially signed on Wednesday 25 May 2022. This historical moment in bringing PNE to China was registered via an online signing ceremony in attendance of the Dutch Embassy of the Netherlands in Beijing and the Bengbu Municipal Health Commission.
    The NVGF network established this first Dutch-Sino working relation with the Bengbu Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the coming years the hospital and NVGF (partner) researchers will conduct a first Pain Neuroscience Education Research together to explore, research, adapt and implement PNE in China.