Pain message archives >> March 2008
We want to hear from you!
By Jennifer Wagner
Pain Management coordinator
First, let me introduce myself as the new Pain Management Coordinator and thank everyone I have met so far for the warm welcome! The past 10 years of my professional career have been devoted to pain management, from direct nursing, to public and professional education, then on to development of public policies. I am excited to be a part of the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Pain Management Commission. I believe that together we can positively impact the management of pain.
Pain patients currently have more options then ever before to manage their pain. We've experienced advances in technology, new medications such as Pregabalin for the treatment of fibromyalgia and new forms of medications such as oral transmucosal lozenges and effervescent buccal tablets. Pain has been elevated as a 5th vital sign; more and more states are requiring pain education for healthcare professionals and efforts are being made by organizations such as the American Pain Foundation to empower patients to advocate for themselves through programs such as the Power Over Pain Campaign.
Despite all these efforts countless Oregonian's continue to suffer with needless pain daily. Many of the calls that I receive in the Governor's Advocacy Office are from pain patients and their family members regarding poor access to care, financial barriers, insurance barriers, and continued social stigmatization regarding their pain.
Here are just a few examples:
Patients report being unable to find physicians or healthcare providers that will treat their pain.
Many are limited to pharmaceutical management because they can't afford multi-disciplinary treatment options such as biofeedback, counseling, and acupuncture and therefore are experiencing a multitude of medication side effects.
Socially, many pain patients report being "treated as addicts" by their healthcare providers, family members and friends.
On top of all of this many patients are dealing with worker's compensation and other employment issues.
In what I believe is an inspired move, the Oregon Pain Management Commission (OPMC) and the DHS Pain Management Program have decided to go directly to the source. We want to hear from you.
The OMPC and the DHS Pain Management Program in collaboration with Portland State University will be offering, for the first time, a validated survey of pain patients in Oregon. Once completed, this survey will give pain patients from throughout Oregon an opportunity to tell us about many aspects of their pain experience. It is our hope that the survey results will provide valuable information that can be used to directly influence clinical practice, insurance reimbursement and public policy.
I will keep you posted as we proceed with this exciting project