Pain training for primary care providers

Patients who experience chronic pain may experience improvement in symptoms if their primary care providers are specifically trained in multiple aspects of pain, including emotional consequences.

A collaborative team headed by Thomas C. Chelimsky, M.D., professor and chairman of the department of neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, conducted a assessing the Primary Practice Physician Program for Chronic Pain (4PCP) and its impact on both patients and providers.

The findings are published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, http://journals.lww.com/clinicalpain/toc/publishahead.

Chronic pain constitutes a heavy burden on healthcare systems, with more than 17 million disabled Americans reporting pain as the primary disability. Primary care providers report pain as the chief symptom of one third of their patients, yet many have little or no training in .

The 4PCP program is designed to train physicians to lead an interdisciplinary team in managing patients with chronic pain; the team includes a pain-informed psychologist, occupational therapist, and a physical therapist, along with the physician.

In the study, physicians were randomized either to receive the training program immediately, or after a one-year control period. Both patients and physicians were evaluated after the intervention to measure its effectiveness.

Patients with chronic pain experienced significant benefits, including reduced pain, fatigue, and depression. Physicians reported more comfort in assessing and treating those patients, and shorter visit times.

"We hope to avert chronic pain syndrome, and instead see improved return-to-work rates, fewer , and significantly improved emotional well-being in these patients," said Dr. Chelimsky. "From a physician perspective, we observed greater and more efficiency. Economically, the impact of 4PCP training could be significant as well in health care dollars saved."

Related Stories

Program helps improve management of chronic pain

date Mar 24, 2009

Patients with chronic pain who took part in a collaborative care intervention that included patient and clinician education and symptom monitoring and feedback to the primary care physician had improvements in pain-related ...

Recommended for you

Physician/Pharmacist model can improve mean BP

date Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—A physician/pharmacist collaborative model can improve mean blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Innovative prototype presented for post-ICU patients

date Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—A collaborative care model, the Critical Care Recovery Center (CCRC), represents an innovative prototype aimed to improve the quality of life of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors, according ...

Clues to a city's health may be found in its sewage

date Mar 27, 2015

Research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee suggests that sampling a city's sewage can tell scientists a great deal about its residents – and may someday lead to improvements in public health.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.