By Ed Coghlan.
As the California Pain Strategy Summit gathers on Friday November 2, chronic pain patients have explicitly stated what they think the almost 100 of California chronic pain providers, advocates, insurers and representatives of state elected officials should be thinking about.
The National Pain Report worked with Summit creator Cynthia Toussaint, who runs For Grace a Los Angeles non-profit that explores issues around women’s health and came up with five questions that we promoted this week. The survey attracted over 1200 responses in less than a day.
“We will use the input from the chronic pain community to help guide our conversation on what can be done to make sure pain patients are being heard,” said Toussaint.
So what did chronic patients say were the five most important issues that any pain strategy should address?
- 82% said that unrestricted access, through a licensed physician, to type and dosage of pain management medications should be available to all patients.
- 67% believe that all people should have full and equal access to pain management regardless of genera, race, socio-economic status.
- 64% believed that education matters and that all medical schools should have curricula dedicated to pain management and chronic pain diseases.
- 60% believe that complementary health strategies for management of chronic pain, like acupuncture, massage, homeopathy, are covered by private and public health insurance.
- Over half (53%) believe that an awareness campaign that educates and others about chronic pain and its impact on lives should be launched.
While understandably access to pain medication ranks highest among the concerns of pain patients, it is worth noting that access and education score very highly.
The National Pain Strategy which was approved in 2016 but has not yet been fully implemented has the following priorities:
More specifically, the Strategy calls for:
- Developing methods and metrics to monitor and improve the prevention and management of pain.
- Supporting the development of a system of patient-centered integrated pain management practices based on a biopsychosocial model of care that enables providers and patients to access the full spectrum of pain treatment options.
- Taking steps to reduce barriers to pain care and improve the quality of pain care for vulnerable, stigmatized and underserved populations.
- Increasing public awareness of pain, increasing patient knowledge of treatment options and risks, and helping to develop a better-informed health care workforce about pain management.
The results of our poll and the National Pain Strategy don’t look much different do they?
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