An interactive, online programme that teaches you effective strategies to manage your pain.

painTRAINER By Centre of Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine at the University of Melbourne in collaboration with Duke University and Hackensack Meridian Health
  • Online coping skills programme
  • Evidence-based 
  • Interactive
  • Education and information

Get the app from

Clinical review 

If guided by a relevant health professional with phone or email follow up, or self-guided for highly motivated patients.

If self-guided (due to high risk of non-adherence; however, even completing one session could be helpful.)

Read a clinical review of this app.



Have you used this app? Tell us what you think of it

Rate this app

Security and privacy Does the app:
  • collect medical information? Yes
  • require a login? Yes
  • have password protection? Yes
  • have a privacy policy? Yes
  • require internet access? Yes
Read more safety tips around health apps
Cost Free

What does the app do?

painTRAINER is an interactive pain coping skills course for people with chronic pain. Caregivers may also find the programme useful in helping them support someone experiencing pain. The course helps users understand how pain works and learn pain coping skills to improve daily function and reduce pain.

It comprises 8 x 30–45 minute guided lessons on pain coping skills which are presented as interactive animated slideshows with audio overlays. It is recommended that users complete one session per week. The programme teaches a variety of pain coping skills which are divided into relaxation-related skills (progressive relaxation, mini-practices and pleasant imagery/distraction), activity-related skills (activity-rest cycles) and thought-related skills (unhelpful automatic thoughts vs coping thoughts, and problem solving).

For the complete app description, go to the painTRAINER website or, for a more detailed review, see Reviews


✔ Developed by relevant health professionals in the US and Australia, with research backing up its utility for improving pain coping and function for osteoarthritis. However, it is probably useful for other pain conditions, too.

✔ Pain education on the nervous system and pain (neurobiology).

✔ Teaches many pain coping skills. 

✔ Email reminders.

✔ Sections for progress tracking, taking notes and filling out worksheets.

✔ Workbook is available as a PDF if the user prefers.

✘ Can’t link with a health professional for them to view your progress.

✘ There is a high risk of non-compliance with this type of programme unless a health professional provides regular face-to-face or remote follow-up to provide encouragement and human contact.

✘ The pain education section has very high information density presented in a didactic manner.

✘ No direct advice about making a pain crisis plan.

✘ No mobile app.

Review details

Date of review: March 2020
Platform reviewed: Web browser (accessed Jan–Feb 2020)

Learn more

Pain management apps


  1. Effects of internet-based pain coping skills training before home exercise for individuals with hip osteoarthritis (HOPE trial): a randomised controlled trial Pain 2018 Sep;159(9):1833-1842.
  2. Automated internet-based pain coping skills training to manage osteoarthritis pain: a randomized controlled trial Pain 2015 May;156(5):837-48.
  3. Effectiveness of an internet-delivered exercise and pain-coping skills training intervention for persons with chronic knee pain: a randomized trial Ann Intern Med. 2017 Apr 4;166(7):453-462.
  4. A qualitative study of patient and provider perspectives on using web-based pain coping skills training to treat persistent cancer pain Palliat  Support Care 2018 Apr;16(2):155-169.  
  5. "I could do it in my own time and when I really needed it": perceptions of online pain coping skills training for people with knee osteoarthritis Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2019 Oct 18.

Disclaimer: Health Navigator’s app library is a free consumer service to help you decide whether a health app would be suitable for you. Our review process is independent. We have no relationship with the app developers or companies and no responsibility for the service they provide. This means that if you have an issue with one of the apps we have reviewed, you will need to contact the app developer or company directly.

Did you find this information useful?

Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team. Reviewed By: Jeremy Steinberg, GP, FRNZCGP Last reviewed: 03 Apr 2020