Tufts PREP Hosts WEGO Health Twitter Chat (#HAchat) on March 13

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:


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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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1.    Linda  |  April 7th, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    I have cronic pain since 3 years now. I learned a lot off things about it to read articles like this! This article has a lot off good information, but it is also very interesting to know that there are so many people who are in the same situation. There should be more sites like this and perhaps an idea to do more with informing people to prefent? Because one important thing I have learned: You always can have something that gives you this pain, but when you don’t listen to your own body, and just go on the way you do, it only will get worse.

  • 2.    Unhinged  |  June 15th, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    If we want to further the discussion about how to better treat chronic pain, we need to talk to the people who are suffering from chronic pain! We will tell you what is happening, what is working & what isn’t. The marginalization of chronic pain patients (particularly those who are on longterm opioid therapy), is pervasive, and getting worse. Even is pain medicine literature, and studies, there seems to be very little distinction between “chronic pain patients” and people who abuse opioid medications. There may be some overlap in these groups, but not to extent that is perceived. Many of us have found pain relief, and increased functioning through the legal and legitimate use of prescription opioids. This is not our only mode of pain relief, but for many of us, without it, we cannot participate in life enough to utilize other modes! I have suffered from debilitating acute and chronic pain caused by a genetic connective tissue disorder called, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome for my entire life. Many patients like me are tired of being misunderstood & judged by members of the medical community. For starters, let’s stop treating chronic pain patients as guilty until proven innocent, interns of the legitimacy of their pain. We are a community of patients for whom life is very difficult to begin with. We deserve compassion, understanding, respect, and relief from our suffering.

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