"Expert consensus and a growing body of research says that best-practice pain management often requires coordinated interdisciplinary assessment and management involving, at a minimum, physical, psychological, and environmental risk factors in each patient."
- National Pain Strategy, 2010
Pain is the most common presenting physical symptom in primary care, accounting for an enormous burden of patient suffering, quality of life, work and social disability, and health care and societal costs. It is a complex problem that needs to be understood in a multi-dimensional way for effective management. Most research to date has been based in specialist clinics rather than in primary care, with consequently limited findings. Chronic pain differs from acute pain in that management follows a rehabilitative rather than a treatment model, though these are not mutually exclusive. One in five Australians lives with chronic pain including adolescents and children. This prevalence rises to one in three people over the age of 65. One in five GP consultations involve a patient with chronic pain and almost five percent report severe, disabling chronic pain. The prevalence of chronic pain is projected to increase as Australia's population ages from around 3.2 million in 2007 to 5 million by 2050.
Less than 10% of people with chronic non-cancer pain gain access to effective care, despite the fact that current knowledge would allow 80% to be treated effectively, if there was adequate access to pain services. Patients face long waiting times to access multidisciplinary pain services in public hospitals frequently more than a year resulting in deterioration in quality of life and reduction in ability to return to work. Lack of access to services is especially critical in rural, regional and remote areas and indigenous communities. One in five Australian adults with severe or very severe pain also suffer depression or other mood disorders. Physical health problems have been implicated in 21% of suicides in Australia. Forty years ago depression was widely misunderstood, highly stigmatised and poorly treated. Yet today we know that it is a serious biological illness that if left untreated can lead to suicide. Like depression, chronic pain can become a serious and debilitating disease in its own right. Yet it struggles to get awareness, although it can significantly diminish quality of life of patients and their families and the risk of suicide is twice as high in people who have chronic pain.
A small proportion of the chronic pain population is managed through specialist pain clinics, and others will attend other medical specialties for investigation and treatment of specific aspects of their conditions. The overwhelming majority of people seeking medical help will attend and be treated in primary care, and in most cases primary care offers the potential to address all aspects of chronic pain, including its prevention. Indeed, the majority of formal health care for chronic pain is provided in primary care settings. There is growing interest in the development of specialized pain therapists with generic pain-management skills who would be based in primary care. In more immediate terms it is recognized that much multi-disciplinary assessment and management already takes place in primary care mirroring the specialist programmes and including physiotherapists, pharmacists and Pain specialists
Please Download the Flyer/Program Here: Strategic for Pain Management & Musculoskeletal Perspectives: A GP Clinical Update.
Date: Wednesday 17th August 2016.
Time: 6.00pm - 9.00pm.
Address: Arche Health, Unit 4/1140 Albany Hwy, Bentley WA 6102.
Download Presentation Slides
Professor Stephan A. Shug: A different Paradigm to Approach Chronic Pain