At-home study of virtual museum experiences to reduce social isolation and pain

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"Can virtual museum programs help individuals with chronic pain feel more socially connected? Help us find out!"
Age: 18+
Healthy Volunteers: No
Keywords: chronic pain, social isolation, virtual programs
Type: Other Study
64 Participants
This research study is evaluating virtual museum-based programs to address loneliness and social isolation among individuals with chronic pain.

Over 100 million American adults suffer from chronic pain. This is more than those with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined.

Chronic pain is complex. It affects the body, the mind, and social interactions. Previous studies show that social disconnection can cause pain to feel more intense. Also, they show that social connection can help decrease the intensity of pain.

Virtual museum experiences may be able to reduce isolation and give people a sense of social connection. We hope to learn if virtual museum engagement can decrease feelings of social disconnection and the unpleasantness of chronic pain in individuals with chronic pain.
This study requires

If you agree to take part in this research, you will randomly assigned to one of four groups:

  • a usual care waitlist control group,
  • a virtual museum tour - Art RX,
  • a virtual meditation program at the museum - Artful Meditation, or
  • both the virtual Art Rx and Artful Meditation programs.

You will be asked to take a survey about your experiences. Surveys will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. They will be administered before, after and at 3 month follow up to the assigned intervention.

You may also be asked to take part in an interview. You will be asked questions about your experiences with museums and arts spaces, the impact these experiences may have had on your health, your health in general, and your relationships. It will take an hour or less to complete the interview.

The interview will be audiotaped and transcribed, but your name will not be included on the transcription.

Who can participate

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. 18 years of age or older
  2. English speaking
  3. Chronic pain (6 months or longer)
  4. Moderate pain or greater
  5. Moderately lonely or greater

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Participated in an Art Rx tour
  2. Participated in an Artful Meditation program
  3. Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease
  4. Unable to complete surveys
Benefits and risks of participating

We cannot promise any benefits to you as a result of taking part in this research study.


The Principal Investigator or a Research Assistant will discuss the risks associated with taking part in this research study.
Participants will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card.
Study duration and period
Each survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. It will take about an hour to complete the interview.
Recruitment period
From Oct. 16, 2019
Crocker Art Museum
216 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Research Topic
  • chronic pain
  • social isolation

Have any questions or want to learn more? Leave your contact details below and the research team will reach out to you.


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