Resources for GPs in managing patients with chronic pain

NSW's Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) has developed a new website devoted to providing information to patients and practitioners on how to manage chronic pain.

Produced by the ACI's Pain Management Network, the website is part of NSW Health's Pain Management Plan, released in July 2012. The NSW government has allocated $26 million over four years to support the development of pain management services in regional areas, enhance existing teaching hospital services, and to support research into chronic pain.

The website provides full access in one place to pain assessment tools that can help GPs complete GPMPs and TCAs for a pain management plan, such as the Abbey Pain Scale for older people and the RACGP's silver book.

It also has resources for paediatric patients and psychological services, as well as links to information on the MBS item numbers available for referrals to allied health for chronic disease management and recommendations and guidelines for opioid prescribing.

There are also numerous fact sheets that can be downloaded and printed off for patients, as well as resources that patients can undertake themselves, including educational videos and templates for pain management diaries.

Co-chair of the Pain Management Network Chris Hayes said there was growing recognition that pain-related nervous system changes are potentially reversible.

“[We] can teach people with chronic pain to use the latest scientific knowledge to change outcomes, to 'retrain the brain’' and wind down the sensitised nervous system that underlies chronic pain,” Dr Hayes said in a statement.

“The overall aim of the ACI’s initiative is to empower consumers and healthcare professionals working in the community with the latest scientific knowledge to understand chronic pain and how to manage it.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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