By Ed Coghlan.
The recommendations of The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force are creating quite a bit of conversation among pain physicians and advocates.
The recommendations, which are still in draft form, are open to public comments and the U.S. Health and Human Service is anxious for people to read the recommendations and then to comment.
Here is the draft report. (click here).
Speaking to a number of pain advocates, the draft recommendations are gaining praise for their thoroughness (although everyone has a nit or two to pick).
The Task Force was established to propose updates to best practices and issue recommendations that address gaps or inconsistencies for managing chronic and acute pain.
This draft report offers a wide range of treatment modalities with a framework to allow for multidisciplinary, individualized patient-centered care.”
The report suggests a significantly more holistic approach to pain management, embracing the idea that treatment pathways should be individualized and based on a “biopsychosocial model of care.”
Regarding how to comment, the U.S. Pain Foundation is sponsoring a webinar on Wednesday to help people understand how to most effectively participate in the public comment section.
To register for that webinar which will be held at 1 pm Eastern time on Wednesday, please go here.
Today, according to the task force, chronic pain affects an estimated 50 million U.S. adults, and as many as 19.6 million of those adults experience high-impact chronic pain that interferes with daily life or work activities.
Another item that was highlighted in the report that is of interest to the National Pain Report audience is it acknowledgement of the growing rate of suicide among chronic pain sufferers.
Public comments submitted to the Task Force show growing consideration of suicide resulting from unrelieved pain and in some cases lack of access to treatment. According to a recent CDC report using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, the percentage of people who died by suicide who also had evidence of chronic pain increased from 7.4% in 2003 to 10.2% in 2014.18 Numbers from this data set beyond 2014 are not yet available. This finding leads to the rising concern that a recent trend of health care professionals opting out of treating pain has contributed to an existing shortage of pain management specialists1 and is leaving some patients without adequate access to care.
We will say that this report is a serious effort to rebalance how chronic pain is treated.
We encourage you to read it and to share your comments.