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management and pain advocacy to assist you in
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[Date of presentation]
WHAT IS PAIN?
• Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional
• The emotional component of pain is called suffering.
• The sensation of pain is unique to each individual
and is difficult to measure.
WHO IS AFFECTED BY PAIN? (1/2)
• Pain is a national health care crisis. It is our Nation’s
– According to the National Center for Health Statistics,
an estimated 53 million Americans reported pain that
lasted for more than 24 hours.1
– Undertreated pain has serious physiological,
psychological, and social consequences.2
– The pain problem in America will continue to grow with
the aging of the baby boomer generation.3
WHO IS AFFECTED BY PAIN? (2/2)
• Pain is a national healthcare crisis. It is our Nation’s
– Pain can slow recovery from disease or injury and
weakens the immune system.
– The annual cost of chronic pain in the U.S. is estimated
to be more than $100 billion, including healthcare
expenses, lost income, and lost productivity.4
– Most people experience pain at some time during their
lives. It may affect physical and mental functioning, and
can profoundly affect quality of life.
PAIN TAKES ITS TOLL
• When pain is properly managed, many people can
resume their lives.
– Untreated or undertreated pain typically results from a
failure to apply existing knowledge about pain
management, and not from the lack of effective
– People often mistakenly believe that pain is something
they “just have to live with.” They are often made to
feel that the pain is “just in their heads.”
RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH PAIN (1/2)
• People who suffer from pain have a right to
appropriate assessment and treatment.
– While pain can affect anyone regardless of gender,
race or economic status, some people have difficulty
getting adequate pain care.
– Women5, African-Americans, certain ethnic groups6,
the elderly7 and the uninsured are more likely to be
denied appropriate pain treatment.8
– Often, pain management requires an integrative
treatment approach - this could mean combining the
use of prescription pain medicines with complementary
RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH PAIN (2/2)
• People who suffer from pain have a right to
appropriate assessment and treatment of their pain.
– People who suffer from pain and their loved ones need
to speak with their healthcare professional and take an
active role in managing their pain.
– Pain can and should be treated. We all have a right to
proper medical care.
BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE PAIN
– The public – including doctors and people with
pain – carry concerns about addiction to pain
– Funding for pain research is woefully inadequate:
Less than 1% of the NIH research budget is
dedicated to pain.
– Overly restrictive regulatory policies may impede
BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE PAIN
– Efforts to prevent the diversion and abuse of pain
medication must be balanced so they do not
interfere with patient care.
– Concerns about regulatory scrutiny may affect
healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) treatment
– Some barriers exist for a reason. HCPs are
concerned about their patients, patients are
concerned about their health, and the healthcare
system struggles with providing effective
healthcare at a cost that can be sustained.
TO EFFECTIVE PAIN TREATMENT10 (1/2)
– Some health care professionals have little or no
training in pain management and how to
appropriately assess for substance abuse
– Inadequate knowledge of pain mechanisms
– Inadequate knowledge of pain assessment
– Inadequate knowledge of the appropriate use of
– Fear of producing iatrogenic addiction
– Concern about analgesic side effects
TO EFFECTIVE PAIN TREATMENT10 (2/2)
– Inadequate knowledge about how to treat side
effects of analgesic medications
– Concern about the development of analgesic
– Inability to differentiate between tolerance,
physical dependence, and addiction
– Fear of regulatory scrutiny
– Time and reimbursement pressures that prohibit
effective pain assessment and management
TO EFFECTIVE PAIN TREATMENT11
– Reluctance to report pain
– Reluctance to take pain medications as prescribed
– Concerns about addiction
– Belief that pain is inevitable and not treatable
– Lack of access to pain management professionals
– Inability to effectively manage the side effects of pain
– Fear of masking new symptoms
– Cost of pain medications and/or other treatment
– Lack of comprehensive insurance coverage for pain
TO EFFECTIVE PAIN TREATMENT12
– Failure to make pain management a high priority
– Lack of a systematic and collaborative approach
to pain assessment and management
– Absence of accountability for pain management
– Lack of organized pain management teams
– Inadequate reimbursement for pain management
– Regulations and/or legislation that restricts access
to needed treatment such as the prescribing and
dispensing of controlled substances
• Medication adherence is an important components
of appropriate pain management.
– Nearly three out of four Americans report that they
do not always take their medications as directed.13
– Failure to take medications as instructed is not just
an individual’s problem; it impacts everyone – as
patients, caregivers, employers, health care
practitioners, researchers, and taxpayers.
MEDICATION SAFETY (1/2)
– Some medications have special storage
instructions, such as keeping out of the heat or
light. Also, it may be important to safeguard
medications from those for whom they are not
– The National Council on Patient Information and
Education (NCPIE) has developed a resource with
information on medication safety and storage in
addition to other safety issues, accessible at
MEDICATION SAFETY (2/2)
– Medicines should be disposed of properly to avoid
harm. According to the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), almost all medicines can be
thrown away in the household trash after mixing
them with some unpalatable substance (e.g.,
coffee grounds) and sealing them in a container.
However, some medicines have special disposal
instructions. You can find this document at
MEDICATION ADHERENCE, SAFETY,
STORAGE AND DISPOSAL GOALS
– Common goals for improving medication
adherence, safety, storage and disposal are
through patient information and education, health
professional intervention, and supportive
– The Bottom Line: People in pain have a right to
timely and appropriate pain care.
[PERSISTENT PAIN INTERFERES WITH
[ACUTE VS. PERSISTENT PAIN]
[CAUSES OF PAIN]
[IMPORT STATISTICS FROM RESOURCES
[WHAT AND HOW TO COMMUNICATE]
QUESTIONS TO ASK
YOUR HEALTH CARE TEAM
• What is causing my pain?
• What can be done to make it better?
• What can I do to help manage my pain?
• What is the treatment plan?
• Please tell me about the medications you prescribed
– What are the medications for and when do I take them?
– What effects should I expect?
– What should I do if I have side effects?
– What if the medicine does not help?
• I would like to discuss setting the goals for my
PAIN MANAGEMENT TIPS
• Take an active role in seeking treatment
• Work with your health care professional to develop a
• Set pain management goals and follow through
• Maintain a balanced lifestyle
• Seek and accept support
• Reinforce your positive attitude and accomplishments
HOW FRIENDS AND FAMILY CAN HELP
• Ask about his/her pain
• Listen to and believe his/her reports of pain
• Run errands and help around the house
• Work with him/her to set pain management goals
• Help him/her to remain positive
• Ensure he/she maintains a balanced lifestyle
• Encourage him/her to find support