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How we understand your pain at Aivo

Have you ever taken a personality test?

Personality tests are very popular these days. So much so that you can find one on the internet for just about anything—from tests that help you figure out which celebrities you share similarities with to those that help you discover “the real you”. Although many of these tests are designed for entertainment purposes, there are others that have a long history behind them.

One example is the NEO Personality Inventory. Even if you are not familiar with the test itself, you have likely called yourself or someone you know an “extrovert” before. Extraversion is one of the so called “Big Five” personality traits measured by the NEO Personality Inventory:

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

After taking the test (try one yourself here), you are given a score on each trait that reflects your percentile relative to other people who have taken the test. For example, my Extraversion percentile is 53%, meaning that I score the same or higher on Extraversion than 53% of people, and 47% of people score higher than me. In context, this means that my Extraversion is about average in comparison to other people. Follow the link here to learn a bit more about the Big Five Personality Traits.

What about a pain recovery test?

Many people, including myself, find the personality test results fun to think about. They offer an insightful summary of the patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that make us who we are. However, is personality really as simple as the combination of scores across five different traits? I don’t think so. These traits themselves are oversimplifications of otherwise very complicated human experiences. For example, just because someone scores high on Extraversion does not mean that they will do the same in the future—instead, people’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors change over time as they gain new experiences. 

At Aivo Health, we believe that chronic pain is the same way—there is no single set of traits or “scores” on a test that can fully capture a person’s experience with pain. However, based on decades of research, we do know that there are core thoughts, emotions, and behaviors shared by many people with chronic pain. For example, everyone experiences Pain Anxiety, but some people experience more of it than others. Or I may have high Pain Anxiety now, but a good course of treatment could reduce my Pain Anxiety in the future.

It is critical that we understand your unique pain experience to provide the most effective treatment path.This is why we have developed a unique “Pain Recovery Test” that measures the “Recovery Factors” that underlie your experience with chronic pain:

  • Body Awareness
  • Emotional Awareness 
  • Flexible Attention
  • Flexible Coping
  • Optimism
  • Pain Anxiety

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What makes the Aivo Health Pain Recovery Test unique?

There are many questionnaires used in pain research covering the Recovery Factors described above. Using the most referenced questionnaires in the scientific literature, you would need to respond to over 200 questions just to get accurate measures of your unique Recovery Factors. If you’ve participated in academic research on pain, you’ve likely responded to some of these questionnaires before. Imagine having to go through all of that multiple times throughout a pain recovery program, though!

By analyzing tens of thousands of responses across several hundred research participants we found that we only need to ask 30 questions to accurately estimate the unique levels of your Recovery Factors—your “Recovery Profile”. This day-one Recovery Profile is sufficient for quickly providing personalized suggestions for your treatment. We then refine your Recovery Profile over time by asking more questions as you progress through the program. The important point is: your personalized treatment begins immediately.

How we create your Recovery Profile

How do we personalize your pain recovery treatment?

Everyone’s experience with pain differs in important ways. In our research, we’ve also come to the conclusion that the ideal path to recovery differs based on people’s pain experience. For that reason, the Aivo Program is not a one-size-fits-all list of exercises where you just have to blindly choose what to do in the hopes that something will work, but one that is personalized for each person in a unique way. This is done with the help of the Recovery Profile described above.

We’ve organized the Aivo Program into multiple independent tracks. Each track consists of 3 to 5 days of exercises–10 to 20 minutes per day–that help you learn and practice skills designed to help you meet a specific, achievable goal. The content in these tracks has been hand-crafted by our clinical and science teams, and thanks to the Recovery Profile we can identify which tracks are most applicable to each person.

For example, if your Recovery Profile reveals that you are currently low in Flexible Coping, out of the dozens of tracks available, we would recommend a track that helps you get out and make connections with other people in your life. Tracks often start with education about why the content is relevant to pain, followed by setting a goal and then learning or refining skills to help you achieve your new goal. Once you complete your current track at your own pace, we will have more waiting—all organized specifically for you, based on your unique Recovery Profile.

Throughout the recovery process, we continue to monitor your daily levels of pain to ensure that what we are recommending actually works. If we see that a certain track lowers your pain, we will continue to recommend similar tracks. If we think that you would benefit from a different track entirely, we will recommend that track instead.

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How we use your Recovery Profile to personalize treatment

Are there real people involved in personalizing my treatment?

Yes! Every aspect of your Aivo experience comes with a human touch. For example, our track recommendation technology was not only designed with the help of expert clinicians, but your Health Coach can also see each and every recommendation. Much like how a doctor will use their own knowledge and experience to determine the best path forward, your Health Coach can suggest tracks that they believe will work best for you based on your conversations.  

Your Health Coach will also continue to offer daily support in other ways, via the built-in text chat and video calls to help you stay motivated, accountable, and successful in meeting your treatment goals.

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