Andrew Roof, M.P.T.
Persistent Pain Education Program
Mid-Columbia Medical Center
Andy Roof is a lead physical therapist at Mid-Columbia Medical Center’s outpatient therapies department in The Dalles, Oregon. He is responsible for assessing and treating outpatient musculoskeletal and neuromuscular dysfunctions, directing the department’s professional development series, mentoring and training professional staff, and organizing and presenting the facility’s Persistent Pain Education Program.
Andy is a member of the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and is a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Specialist. He is a volunteer member of the Clinical Advisory Panel to the Columbia Gorge Coordinated Care Organization. Andy received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Virginia in 1995 and a Master of Physical Therapy from Emory University in 1999. Andy lives in Hood River, Oregon, with his wife and son. When not working, Andy enjoys ski mountaineering, mountain biking and playing bass guitar.
Persistent pain affects 100 million Americans and imposes societal costs between $560 and $635 billion annually. Treatment approaches focused on medication and surgery have proven ineffective for many. A 2012 report documented an average of 880 opiate prescriptions dispensed per 1000 residents of the two counties that comprise the Columbia Gorge CCO. Alternative education-based treatment paradigms are gaining evidence.
The Persistent Pain Education Program has been developed and now educates people with chronic pain in pain neuroscience and self-management of their condition. We have run four full cycles of the eight-week class since June 2015, and are currently halfway through the fifth.
Results to date
124 people have attended at least one of the eight classes in the series since June 2015. Fourteen attended 7-8 classes and submitted completed outcome measures:
- 36% (n=14) of participants have made a clinically significant improvement in measures of physical functioning.
- 78% (n=14) and 86% (n=7) have made improvements in measures of chronic pain acceptance and confidence in overall life functioning, respectively.
We expanded our reach by educating community stakeholders including Columbia Gorge CCO, The Next Door, Inc. (Latino outreach), One Community Health, Center for Living (behavioral health) and Providence Hood River Hospital. Our website received 1300 hits by mid-2016.
An educational program can help people with chronic pain improve their quality of life. Ongoing marketing to referral sources and continued collaboration with other local organizations is critical to improve utilization of this treatment paradigm.
This program offers an alternative approach to pain management while not relying on medication or expensive surgeries. This educational approach is beginning to change how providers speak about pain with patients and also helps to decrease the number of opiates available for diversion in our community. We are currently gathering data on long-term health care cost reduction within our CCO.
- Referral pathway built into electronic health record for provider ease
- Chronic opiate therapy prescription writing done in conjunction with referral to program
- Educate home health workers to become referral sources