A Message from the Coordinator

March 2013

Updated Pain Management Resources for All

When the Oregon Pain Management Commission was established, it was directed by Oregon Revised Statute to provide one hour of Oregon specific pain management training for certain health care professionals. Health care professionals are required to complete this training one time. It is a requirement for their application to be re-licensed to practice in Oregon. The following health care providers must complete this training: physicians; physician assistants; chiropractic physicians; naturopathic physicians; dentists; pharmacists; nurses; psychologists; occupational therapists; physical therapists; and acupuncturists. To meet this obligation, the OPMC developed a module, titled “Advancing Pain Management in Oregon.” This pain management module has been newly revised and is available online: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPR/Pages/pmc/index.aspx


Over the last 4 months, commission members have diligently worked to improve the pain management information included in this training. There is approximately thirty percent new information included in the updated module. New topics include: pain assessment; appropriate standards of care for use of opioids in pain management; universal precautions in pain medicine; modifiable life factors that affect each other and pain; dentists and pain management; health care professional communication with clients and other providers; health care professional ethical obligations; information assimilated from the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report titled “Relieving Pain in America;” a link to the OPMC Position Statement on medical marijuana use; information about and a link to the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program; and information about and a link to the 2013 Oregon Medical Board’s Pain Management Statement of Philosophy. In addition, other sections—including the OPMC conclusion and recommendations—were updated and outdated information was removed from the module.


Although many individuals have already completed this pain management training requirement, the OPMC is encouraging all health care professionals to review the newly revised module. It should be obvious that some significant new pain management topics have been included in the updated module. This revised module and new links will give health care professionals additional information to use in managing people with pain.


While working on the new “Advancing Pain Management in Oregon” module, OPMC members also discussed the Oregon response to the OPMC Chronic Pain Survey that was conducted at the end of 2011. (See the report at: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPR/PMC/docs/2011.Survey.pdf )


When survey respondents were asked if they felt their health insurance provided adequate coverage to meet pain management expenses, slightly under half of respondents indicated their insurance didn’t meet expenses. When asked how long they had been experiencing pain, almost 90 percent of respondents indicated they had been experiencing pain for 3 or more years. Almost 12 percent of respondents had been experiencing pain between 16 to 20 years.


During discussion, it was pointed out that patients and their families could benefit from a tool written specifically for them to use in self-managing chronic pain. We realized that although patients can access the online training module, it really wasn’t created for or directed at consumers. We also realized that many—if not most—of the resources listed on the OPMC website are directed at health care providers. Although this new informational tool that we plan to create will not be designed to replace the expertise of your own primary care provider or pain management specialist, it will be a resource for you to use with no additional expense.


Therefore, the OPMC is currently putting together a written document with information designed for use by consumers—people with pain, their families and their support systems. This document will discuss the difference between acute and chronic pain, how chronic pain impacts an individual and their family, communicating effectively to manage chronic pain, pacing activities and rest, and a variety of other topics related to self-management of chronic pain. The document will also include a variety of imbedded web links that will take individuals to other trusted online resources for additional information. We anticipate completing this new tool within the next few months. When finished, this new consumer tool will be posted prominently on the home page of the OPMC website for easy access.


The OPMC strongly believes that accurate information is one of the most important tools to use in pain management—especially in the management of chronic pain. We hope that our efforts will be beneficial to both those health care professionals treating individuals with pain and also to those individuals living with pain.


Kind Regards,