March 13, 2012
by Pamela Katz Ressler, MS, RN, HN-BC, adjunct faculty Pain Research, Education and Policy Program (PREP) Tufts University School of Medicine, PREP-Aired blog moderator and administrator
The Pain Research, Education and Policy Program (PREP) will be hosting the WEGO Health health activists Twitter Chat on March 13, 3 PM EDT (#HAchat). We are thrilled to be sitting around the virtual table with health professionals, caregivers, health activists and advocates to discuss the important issue of chronic pain. To participate in the chat you will need a Twitter account, then join us at this link: tweetchat.com/room/HAchat#
Here are some interesting (and alarming) statistics about chronic pain (note that these statistics do not include pediatric pain).
From MA Pain Initiative survey (2010)
- 1 out of 4 adults in Massachusetts suffers from persistent pain, interfering with daily life/work for at least some of the time.
- Among minorities, 42% reported persistent pain
From Institute of Medicine Report on Chronic Pain (2011)
- Chronic pain (pain lasting more than 3 months) affects an estimated 116 million American adults—more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined.
- Pain also costs the U.S. up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity.
Pain was previously described as a symptom of another disease and was treated as such. However this definition has been proven to be very narrow. The Institute of Medicine now describes pain as a public health issue, affecting the health of the society as well as the individual. This is a call to action for health activists and advocates to educate themselves to work toward better and more comprehensive pain management.
Here are some helpful websites to learn more about the multiple dimensions of pain:
- Institute of Medicine: Relieving Pain in American, A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, Research http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Relieving-Pain-in-America-A-Blueprint-for-Transforming-Prevention-Care-Education-Research.aspx
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://nccam.nih.gov/
- American Pain Society http://www.ampainsoc.org/about/
- Tufts Pain Research, Education and Policy Program (PREP) http://publichealth.tufts.edu/Academics/MS-Pain-Research-Education-and-Policy
- PREP-Aired Blog (Tufts PREP program blog) http://sites.tufts.edu/prep/
- Massachusetts Pain Initiative http://www.masspaininitiative.org/
- Life before DEATH Movie http://www.lifebeforedeath.com/movie/about.shtml
- American Pain Foundation http://www.painfoundation.org/
- Pain and Policies Study Group http://www.painpolicy.wisc.edu/
Want to learn more about the Pain Research, Education and Policy Program at Tufts University Medical School? Did you know that we are the first and only multidisciplinary pain program in the country? Did you know that we welcome both clinicians and health advocates and activists to our program? Did you know that you can take a course without being a matriculated student? Contact Wendy Williams (Wendy.Williams@tufts.edu), Associate Director of the Tufts Pain Research, Education and Policy Program to discuss how you can make a difference in the treatment of pain.
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