Methods/design: We are conducting a double-blind, cluster-randomized controlled trial. A sample of 160 participants aged ≥ 60 years will be recruited from social centers or outpatient clinics and will be randomized on the basis of center/clinic to either the multicomponent intervention or the pain education program. Both interventions consist of ten weekly sessions of 90 minutes each. The primary outcome is pain intensity, and the secondary outcomes include pain interference, pain persistence, pain self-efficacy, pain coping, pain catastrophizing cognitions, health-related quality of life, depressive symptoms, and hip and knee muscle strength. All outcome measures will be collected at baseline, postintervention, and at 3 and 6 months follow-up. Intention-to-treat analysis will be performed using mixed-effects regression to see whether the multicomponent intervention alleviates pain intensity and associated outcomes over and above the effects of pain education (i.e., a treatment × time intervention effect).
Discussion: Because the activities included in the multicomponent intervention were carefully selected for ready implementation by allied health professionals in general, the results of this study, if positive, will make available an efficacious, nonpharmacological pain management program that can be widely adopted in clinical and social service settings and will hence improve older people’s access to pain management services.