News & Updates
The issue includes articles related to addressing and assessing risk factors for chronic pain and opioid misuse and articles related to psychological and integrated treatment approaches to pain management and opioid-risk mitigation.
Recently, a multidisciplinary group of leading experts in pain updated the definition of “pain” on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). Particularly relevant is the acknowledgement that pain is a personal, subjective and multidimensional experience that can be shaped by a range of biological, psychological and social factors.
The COVID-19 pandemic affects all of us and people with pain may feel particularly anxious. Managing physical and emotional aspects of pain is difficult under normal circumstances, and veterans and military service members and their families may feel particularly vulnerable due to the many new physical and emotional challenges brought on, or heightened, by the pandemic.
Robert Kerns, Ph.D., gave an overview of the Collaboratory for staffers from the offices of Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT-D) and Senator Christopher Murphy (CT-D). Dr. Kerns highlighted the importance of the PMC in implementing research in integrated, learning health systems.
Dr. Friedhelm Sandbrink, VHA National Program Director for Pain Management discusses the need to assure access and quality of pain care services, and the research that is going into it. Drs. Lauren Hollrah, PsyD and Aram Mardian, MD aim to clear up the confusion around the criteria for DSM-5 diagnosis of Opioid User Disorder with an Education Corner piece. While the VA offers many programs to foster human connections and support, Dr. Heidi Klingbeil, talks about how happier people feel better, and while that sounds easy enough, she encourages physicians to assess the patient as a whole person and develop evaluation skills that are not simply a check off item on a template. Other topics in the newsletter address studies and papers tackling pain management.