Pain training for primary care providers

March 5, 2013

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."

Explore further: Chronic pain in homeless people not managed well: study

Related Stories

Chronic pain in homeless people not managed well: study

July 21, 2011
Chronic pain is not managed well in the general population and it's an even greater challenge for homeless people, according to new research by St. Michael's Hospital.

Study determines critical skills for PCPs to safely manage opioid risk in chronic pain patients

March 16, 2012
Primary care physicians are faced with treating a large proportion of chronic pain patients, but many do not often have specific training in the assessment and management of chronic pain, including the use of opioid medications ...

Negative emotions influence brain activity during anticipation and experience of pain

September 19, 2011
Neuroticism — the tendency to experience negative emotions — significantly affects brain processing during pain, as well as during the anticipation of pain, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official ...

Study shows link between smoking and chronic pain in women

September 28, 2011
Kentucky women who smoke heavily may experience more chronic musculoskeletal pain, suggests a new study led by University of Kentucky researchers.

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

0 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.