Publication date: Jun 07, 2019
A federal advisory committee issued its final report on recommended best practices for acute and chronic pain, calling for a “balanced, individualized, patient-centered approach. “
The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force had issued a draft of the report in December, asking for public comments, which are incorporated in this final report.
“I think this is a very balanced approach, emphasizing individualized care and patient-centeredness because chronic pain doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” Vanila Singh, MD, chief medical officer at the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health and chair of the Pain Management Inter-Agency Task Force, told Medscape Medical News.
“The report gives clinicians best-practice guidelines, not only in chronic pain but also in terms of how to approach patients with comorbid conditions, substance abuse or risk, and how to bring it all together,” she said.
The task force was convened by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in conjunction with other governmental agencies, “to address acute and chronic pain in light of the ongoing opioid crisis. “
The task force consisted of members of relevant HHS as well as non-federal representatives representing diverse disciplines and views, including experts in areas related to pain management, pain advocacy, addiction, recovery, substance use disorders, mental health, and minority health.
Singh emphasized that an estimated 50 million American adults experience chronic daily pain, and of these 19. 6 million have high-impact pain that affects their ability to work, function, and have a good quality of life.
“In the current environment, patients with chronic pain – particularly those being treated with opioids – can be stigmatized, a tendency exacerbated when their pain condition is complicated by mental health co-morbidities,” the authors observe.
The report focuses on populations with unique issues that affect pain management, including active duty service members and veterans; pediatric patients; older adults; women; pregnant women; individuals with sickle cell disease; those with chronic, relapsing pain conditions; patients with cancer and those in palliative/hospice care; and Alaska natives, American Indians, African Americans, and Hispanic/Latino Americans.
“If a PCP is facing a patient, maybe one with established chronic pain, psychiatric consultation should be considered early – even a one-time consultation to help with a blueprint for treatment. “
In general, the report emphasizes education about pain conditions and their treatment for patients, families, caregivers, clinicians, and policymakers.
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