There’s a very interesting study on chronic pain treatment that is about to get underway in San Francisco.
A partnership called the Integrative Pain Management Program (IPMP), was created because of a community-identified opiate problem, as well as the recognition that addressing the complex problem of chronic pain management among vulnerable patients requires input from multiple perspectives.
The University of California San Francisco Osher Center for Integrative Medicine is partnering with the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Tom Waddell Urban Health Center in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood to study the effect of integrative medicine interventions on underserved patients with chronic pain.
Chronic pain, which can severely impact daily functioning and quality of life, can be difficult to manage, particularly among vulnerable populations, who have a higher prevalence of pain.
This research study will measure changes in patients’ pain intensity and health-related quality of life (physical, psychological, and social functioning), in addition to any changes in the amount of opioid medications. Data will also be collected on the number of referrals, attendance, and adherence to the program, as well as qualitative data on patient experiences and satisfaction with the program. The study will also examine the preliminary effects of the program on the healthcare providers caring for chronic pain patients, including providers’ experiences, burnout, and satisfaction.
It is scheduled to run from February through November of 2016, with three cohorts of 25 people, for three months each.
Those who study chronic pain treatment have been focused for some time on the challenge of delivering health care in rural America and this study in a dense urban area with a transient population has some potential and some challenges.
“Integrative health care relies on positioning the resources that support participation,” said Terri Lewis, PhD who studies health care delivery, particularly for chronic pain. “If they fail to account for this factor, the results will be poor. Persons with chronic pain face enormous barriers-financial, insurance, parsing their physical resources, and management of risk. If they have planned for this it might be good.”
The UCSF Mount Zion Health Fund, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and through the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH/NCCIH), are funding the project.
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