New York, NY – 11/21/19 – The US Pain Collaborative, comprised of advocacy leaders from across the pain community, today announced the publication of a report, titled “Chronic Pain Assessment: Patient Perspectives.” The report, driven by survey data on patient awareness and satisfaction with current chronic pain assessment instruments, provides patient-informed recommendations that should be taken by physicians, patients, and advocacy organizations immediately to improve the lives of people living with chronic pain. The full report can be found HERE.
The report is, in part, informed by a 2018 survey designed to understand the patient perspective on how physicians and other healthcare professionals utilize chronic pain assessment instruments. The survey was disseminated to patients through the organizations of several US Pain Collaborative members. Chronic pain survey respondents numbered more than 2,700 and survey results showed that the impact of chronic pain on patients’ lives is not adequately, consistently, or uniformly measured. Over 90% of patients surveyed indicated changes are needed in the way healthcare professionals evaluate chronic pain. “Our findings reveal a vast area for improvement in the way chronic pain is assessed and subsequently managed by healthcare professionals. Better assessment tools and a wider range of questions on the part of healthcare providers, if appropriately acted upon by healthcare practitioners, could lead to significant improvements in the management of patients’ pain,” said Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy & Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation.
The report underscores that comprehensive chronic pain assessment methods should reflect the multiple aspects of the patient’s pain experience and capture chronic pain’s impact on daily life. Cynthia Toussaint, Founder & Spokesperson of For Grace said, “The current pain assessment tools come up far short as they tend to depict a two-dimensional picture of chronic pain. In reality, pain is a very complex, multi-layered experience that requires a robust assessment tool, one that speaks not only to the patient’s physical experience, but also to their psychological, social, and spiritual impact. Until then, chronic pain patients will lack proper pain assessment, which will lead to poor quality of life outcomes.”
Survey respondents indicated that chronic pain’s impact on functionality and quality of life is assessed significantly less often than patients would like. These findings informed key recommendations in the report, which included; patients and caregivers starting a conversation with their healthcare provider to determine what improvements in their chronic pain would constitute improvements in quality of life; and healthcare providers finding and using instruments that evaluate chronic pain’s impact on quality of life and placing emphasis on the personal goals and priorities of the patient’s desired outcomes from treatment. By incorporating the patients’ perspective into the recommendations set forth in the report, a baseline has been established against which to consider enhanced chronic pain assessment instruments, and more inclusive chronic pain evaluation methods for enhanced pain management and treatment outcomes for people living with chronic pain.
The survey was created with support from Grünenthal and VOZ Advisors.
About US Pain Collaborative
The US Pain Collaborative (USPC) is a chronic pain steering committee that included members from the Chronic Pain Research Alliance, For Grace, Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation, the International Pain Foundation, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association, and US Pain Foundation.