By Ed Coghlan.
The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force (Task Force), in a draft report issued Friday, calls for individualized, patient-centered pain management to improve the lives of millions of individuals who experience acute and chronic pain.
Members of the public will have 90 days to provide comments on the draft report’s proposed recommendations.
The Task Force, a federal advisory committee, was established by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 – PDF to propose updates to best practices and issue recommendations that address gaps or inconsistencies for managing chronic and acute pain. The Task Force is composed of 29 members, including healthcare providers and patients, as well as federal employees. It is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The draft report contains proposed recommendations in a number of areas, including:
- clinical best practices/guidelines;
- approaches to acute and chronic pain management;
- pain treatments, including medications, restorative therapies, interventional procedures, behavioral health approaches, and complementary and integrative approaches;
- access to pain care, stigma (of patients and providers), education, training, risk assessment and evaluation;
- special populations, including older adults, women, ethnic and racial minorities, military members and veterans;
- special conditions, such as pregnancy, chronic relapsing pain and sickle cell disease; and
- Congressionally mandated review of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
“Chronic pain affects an estimated 50 million U.S. adults or 20 percent of the adult population. An estimated 19.6 million U.S. adults have experienced high-impact chronic pain, which the CDC defines as pain occurring and interfering with life or work activities most days. This draft report offers a wide range of treatment modalities with a framework to allow for multidisciplinary, individualized patient-centered care,” said Vanila M. Singh, M.D., MACM, Task Force chair, and chief medical officer of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. “We encourage members of the public to review the draft report and share their comments with us.”
The Task Force members have significant public- and private-sector experience across the disciplines of pain management, patient advocacy, substance use disorders, mental health and minority health.