Chronic pain has a devastating impact on the lives of over one hundred million U.S. adults --more than the number affected by heart disease, diabetes, and cancer combined (Tsang et al., 2008). Pain is the second most common reason to seek outpatient treatment from primary care physicians and accounts for a fifth of emergency room visits. All too often pain is undertreated due to poor assessment, inadequate caregiver education about treatment, or the fear patients will abuse their analgesic medications. There is compelling evidence to substantiate this last fear: 80% of primary care physicians in one study failed to detect signs of substance abuse (Brown et al., 2004). The annual national economic cost associated with chronic pain is estimated to be $560–635 billion (2011). To make matters more complex, the United States is currently confronting twin epidemics of chronic pain and prescription drug abuse.
This course explores assessment, treatment, and management options to help physicians determine the right solution for their chronic pain patients.
Presentations by leading international experts from the clinical arena, basic science, and journalism will examine the evidence for new diagnostic tools for chronic pain, the analgesic benefit for different therapeutic classes ranging from oral to intrathecal agents to neuromodulation, and the neurobiology of pain and migraine, and the evidence for using these therapies in clinical practice. the role of nonpharmacologic therapies in the management of pain will also be examined.
This course is appropriately designed to provide primary care providers, pain specialists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists with a thorough, practical, and readily applied treatment update on various types of pain ranging from acute to chronic. Topics cover a broad range of conditions including headache/facial pain, chronic low back pain, peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, cancer pain and other current issues in pain management such as risk management related to opoids. The goal is to enable participants with the information they need to increase their knowledge-base, further improve their skills and enhance pain patient care in the clinical setting.
At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:
- Refine diagnostic approaches to common acute and chronic pain syndromes, including low back pain, neuropathic pain, headache and facial pain, cancer pain syndromes and fibromyalgia
- Better match individual patients experiencing acute and chronic pain with pain therapies including behavioral, medical, and procedural approaches
- Acquire skills to evaluate critically the evidence base for chronic pain treatments in the absence of head-to-head clinical trials comparing treatment efficacy and risks
- Explain how to assess patients for treatment with opioids and adjuvant therapies for chronic pain
- Explain how to initiate therapy, modify dose, and discontinue use of opioids and other classes of analgesic medication
- Improve counseling of patients and caregivers about prognosis, the safe use of analgesic, including proper storage and disposal