Experts: Multidisciplinary, interprofessional approach needed for pain management

Pain is the most common reason patients seek medical attention, yet physicians face huge challenges in easing patients' suffering and managing the risks of prescription-drug dependence and misuse. New educational efforts being put forth in the industry hold promise to address this dilemma.

For starters, the American Medical Association has expanded its pain-management education for doctors, according to an announcement.

Furthering its efforts to provide physicians with a multidisciplinary approach to pain management, areas covered by the new CME series will include the following:

  • Pain mechanisms and assessment
  • Overview of pain-management options
  • Information on managing cancer pain and other types of persistent pain
  • Universal precautions for prescribing opioids

Physicians will be able to complete whichever of the 12 modules address the specific needs of their patients and practices, according to the AMA. The courses have been certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™.

Meanwhile, pain experts at University of California (UC) Davis Health System, looking to expand on recommendations made in a 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, have published consensus core competency recommendations to help clinicians more effectively provide pain management, Pain Medicine News reported.

The guidance, published in this month's issue of Pain Medicine, is geared not just toward physicians but nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals as well.

"Pain is an ideal topic to address from an interprofessional perspective," said study co-author Heather M. Young, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for nursing and dean of the UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, in a press statement. "Every health professional comes in contact with patients and their family members coping with pain. We all need to have a basic understanding of pain so we can provide appropriate care. By working together to develop these basic skills, we gain multiple perspectives on a very complex topic."

To learn more:
- read the announcement from the AMA
- see the post from Pain Medicine News
- learn more about the program from UC Davis
- check out the study from Pain Medicine