It has been about a week since the release of the draft of the long awaited National Pain Strategy by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
One of the main areas of emphasis is to identify and educate those sectors of our population that suffer from chronic pain but are often under diagnosed and undertreated.
One group–the largest group actually– is women.
“The National Pain Strategy is proof positive chronic pain is finally being taken seriously by U.S. health leadership. That’s great news especially for women as they are disproportionately prone to persistent pain and represent the largest pain population. Once this strategy is fully implemented, the days of women in pain being marginalized and dismissed will be over forever.”
Those words from Cynthia Toussaint, who is found of For Grace, an organization dedicated to promoting better care and wellness for women in pain
“This report is long overdue.” said Dan Bennett M.D., the chair of the National Pain Foundation. “The acknowledgement that pain is unique, real and can be a disease, itself, is not new. The report, however, is public document acknowledging information that has been ignored, by public agencies, for too long.”
Is the US Gov. Focused on the Right Public Education Issues About Pain?
The National Pain Strategy has identified a list of high order objectives for public awareness about pain. It appears below.
To increase public awareness about pain and people with pain, the committee recommends developing a campaign that will cover the following learning objectives (listed in order of priority):
- Chronic pain is a disease.
- Chronic pain is manageable.
- Chronic pain is more prevalent than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined.
- Chronic pain is real.
- Most Americans will experience chronic pain or care for someone with chronic pain.
- People in chronic pain deserve respect, compassion, and access to timely treatment.
- Many people in chronic pain nevertheless live productive lives.
- Chronic pain may cause depression and depression increases the severity of pain.
- Chronic pain may require a spectrum of medical treatments and/or non-medical interventions along with the active participation of people with chronic pain in their own pain care management.
- Appropriate chronic pain management may involve prescription medications, which require knowledge of risks for adverse effects such as dependency and addiction.
- Activity level and mood may vary depending on the intensity of chronic pain (good days and bad days).
Is the government focused on the right things? What would you want the public to understand most, but may be missing here?
Share your comments with National Pain Repot readers below, and then email your opinions to the government: NPSPublicComments@NIH.gov.
Time to be heard!