Primary care provider concerns about management of chronic pain in community clinic populations. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21, 652-655

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
Journal of General Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.42). 07/2006; 21(6):652-5. DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00412.x
Source: PubMed


Chronic pain is a common patient complaint in primary care, yet providers and patients are often dissatisfied with treatment processes and outcomes.
To assess provider satisfaction with their training for and current management of chronic pain in community clinic settings. To identify perceived problems with delivering chronic pain treatment and issues with opioid prescribing for chronic pain.
Mailed survey to primary care providers (PCPs) at 8 community clinics.
Respondents (N=111) included attendings, residents, and nurse practioners (NPs)/physician assistants (PAs). They reported 37.5% of adult appointments in a typical week involved patients with chronic pain complaints. They attributed problems with pain care and opioid prescribing more often to patient-related factors such as lack of self-management, and potential for abuse of medication than to provider or practice system factors. Nevertheless, respondents reported inadequate training for, and low satisfaction with, delivering chronic pain treatment.
A substantial proportion of adult primary care appointments involve patients with chronic pain complains. Dissatisfaction with training and substantial concerns about patient self-management and about opioid prescribing suggest areas for improving medical education and postgraduate training. Emphasis on patient-centered approaches to chronic pain management, including skills for assessing risk of opioid abuse and addiction, is required.

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Available from: Judith A Savageau
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    • "Literature shows that the economic burden of unrelieved pain is higher than heart disease, cancer and diabetes (Phillips and Schopflocher, 2008). Studies shows that there are many reasons that hinder the cost effective management of unrelieved pain which are lack of knowledge of health professionals, under reporting and limited access to pain management program (Upshur et al., 2006; Peng et al., 2007; Lohman et al., 2010). "

    Full-text · Article · May 2015
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    • "Chronic pain is a common problem facing healthcare personnel with prevalence rates that range from 4% to 37.5% of primary care visits in the United States (US) [1] [2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent national estimates from the U.S. reveal that as many as one-third of all Americans experience chronic pain resulting in high prevalence rates of visits to primary care clinics (PCC). Indeed, chronic pain appears to be an emerging global health problem. Research has largely ignored the perspective of PCC staff other than physicians in providing care for patients with chronic pain. We wanted to gain insights from the experiences of Registered Nurses (RNs) and Health Technicians (HTs) who care for this patient population. Krippendorff's method for content analysis was used to analyze comments written in an open-ended survey from fifty-seven primary care clinic staff (RNs-N=27 and HTs-N=30) respondents. This represented an overall response rate of 75%. Five themes emerged related to the experience of RNs and HTs caring for patients with chronic pain: 1) Primacy of Medications and Accompanying Clinical Quandaries; 2) System Barriers; 3) Dealing with Failure; 4) Primacy of Patient Centered Care; and 5) Importance of Team Based Care. This study demonstrates that nursing staff provide patient-centered care, recognize the importance of their role within an interdisciplinary team and can offer valuable insight about the care of patients with chronic pain. This study provides insight into strategies that can mitigate barriers to chronic pain management while sustaining those aspects that RNs and HTs view as essential for improving patient care for this vulnerable population in PCCs.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · The Open Nursing Journal
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    • "In the USA, interdisciplinary pain clinics are now the exception rather than the rule,7 and the number of board certified pain physicians (approximately 3500), who are primarily interventionists, cannot manage the approximate 100 million patients with chronic pain,8 leaving the majority of pain care to be delivered by primary care physicians (PCPs). PCPs typically have limited training, resources or time to effectively evaluate, treat and monitor a complex pain patient, especially in regards to a patient that may be misusing or abusing prescription opioids.9 While interdisciplinary pain care is suggested as the most efficacious model there are limited data to support this approach over treatment as usual. "
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic pain is complex, and the patient suffering from chronic pain frequently experiences concomitant medical and psychiatric disorders, including mood and anxiety disorders, and in some cases substance use disorders. Ideally these patients would be referred to an interdisciplinary pain program staffed by pain medicine, behavioral health, and addiction specialists. In practice, the majority of patients with chronic pain are managed in the primary care setting. The primary care clinician typically has limited time, training, or access to resources to effectively and efficiently evaluate, treat, and monitor these patients, particularly when there is the added potential liability of prescribing opioids. This paper reviews the role of opioids in managing chronic noncancer pain, including efficacy and risk for misuse, abuse, and addiction, and discusses several models employing novel technologies and health delivery systems for risk assessment, intervention, and monitoring of patients receiving opioids in a primary care setting.
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