Massachuetts Pain Initiative Survey Finds Chronic Pain Affects 1 in 4 Adults in Massachusetts

by Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC, MS-PREP student, PREP-AIRED blog moderator
Thanks to Cyndie Rodman, MS-PREP ’09, for sending along the press release from the recent Massachusetts Pain Initiative Survey. Cyndie writes that “the survey not only quantified the incidence of chronic pain among the Massachusetts general population, but also the differences and disparities experienced by minorities versus non-minorities. This is the first Massachusetts study we are aware of to look at how pain is experienced by minorities compared to non-minorities.” Tufts University School of Medicine’s Pain Research, Education and Policy (PREP) faculty member, Carol Curtiss, RN, MSN, as well as PREP guest lecturer, Paul Arnstein, PhD, APRN-BC, played instrumental roles in the survey. Click here to read the Massachusetts Pain Initiative’s press release about the survey. For more information about the Massachusetts Pain Initative, click here.

2 comments May 10th, 2010

Effective Management of Chronic Pain and Addiction in Primary Care

By Richard Glickman-Simon, MD, Director, Programs in Pain Research, Educatin and Policy, Tufts University School of Medicine
Upcoming conference of interest: Effective Management of Chronic Pain and Addiction in Primary Care
Saturday May 8th, 2010, 9-4pm, Tufts University School of Medicine,
Sackler Building, 145 Harrison Ave. Boston

NO FEE TO ATTEND: sponsored by Greater Lawrence Family Health Center,
Tufts Family Medicine, Mass. League of Community Health Centers,
MassAHEC, and UMASS Medical School
Register Online
Featuring practical interactive workshops on drug testing, patient
contracts and chronic pain, addiction treatment, and suboxone. SAM from
the ABFM on chronic pain (for family medicine recertification) offered
Fantastic speakers include Dr. Dan Alford (Medical Director,
Office-Based Opioid Treatment Program at BMC), Dr. Luis Sanchez
(Director of Physician Health Services/MMS), Dr. Alan Wartenberg
(Associate Medical Director of the DVA Providence Medical Center Opioid
Treatment Program), and Dr. Jeff Baxter (mentors providers on
addiction/pain treatment through the Physician Clinical Support System,
No fee to attend (breakfast, lunch and snacks included). Receive up to
4.5 hours in Category I credit towards the AMA Physician’s Recognition

1 comment April 1st, 2010

Feeling the Pain: Addressing Pain Care in the United States

by Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC, MS-PREP student, PREP-AIRED blog moderator
The Mayday Fund, a leading organziation dedicated to alleviating the incidence, degree and consequence of human physical pain has announced its recommendations for high-quality, cost-effective pain care in this country as we move forward in the decade. The Mayday Fund special Committee on Pain and the Practice of Medicine has recommended 12 action steps in their report entitled: A Call to Revolutionize Chronic Pain Care in America. The committee was made up of clinicians representing nursing, medicine, pharmacy and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary strategies to move forward in addressing this widespread public health issue. According the Mayday Fund’s report, chronic pain affects as estimated 70 million Americans making the burden of chronic pain on society greater than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. To read the complete report, click here

1 comment March 7th, 2010

Pain Increases Fall Risk in Elderly

By Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC, MS-PREP student and PREP-AIRED blog moderator
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults (2005). Falls are also the most common cause of non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma in elderly individuals. A new study suggests that persistent or chronic pain may be a risk factor for falls in the elderly. “No matter how it was assessed, seniors with chronic pain had a 1.5-fold increased risk of falling,” Suzanne G. Leveille, PhD, RN, of the University of Massachusetts in Boston, and colleagues reported in the November 25, 2009 Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers conducted the longitudinal study of 749 older adults, ages 70 +, from 2005-2008. Study findings suggested that patients who had chronic pain had higher rates of falls during follow-up than those who were pain-free (P<0.05).
In adjusted models, each measure of chronic pain was independently associated with the increased occurrence of falls. Compared with those without pain or those in the lowest tertiles of pain scores, the greatest risk for falls was observed in those who:
•Had two or more pain sites (RR 1.53, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.99)
•Were in the highest tertiles of pain severity (RR 1.53, 95% CI 1.12 to 2.08)
•Had interference with activities (RR 1.53, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.05)
Dr. Leveille suggested that paying closer attention to assessment of pain in older adults could decrease the risk of falls, contribute to better health outcomes, and help people to continue living actively and independently in the community."

2 comments December 1st, 2009

No Need to Suffer in Silence

by Lisa Neal Gualtieri, PhD, Adjunct Clinical Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
With 74% of Americans online and 80-84% of online American using the Web for health information (Pew Internet and American Life and Harris Polls), many pain sufferers are online. But far more people “lurk” than participate actively in health Web sites. Hence I was interested in a blog post that included a slide from Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research from HealthCamp Boston, which shows that people with chronic pain conditions are in the “misery loves company” quadrant and may be “most likely to benefit from and to participate in online social networks”.
What are the implications of this for the design of health Web sites? And can pain itself ever be an impediment to full participation?

4 comments June 2nd, 2009

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