Institute of Medicine Issues Long-Awaited Pain Report

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • Today the Institute of Medicine issued a 328-page report entitled Relieving Pain in America: Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Treatment and Research.  Following is a brief summary of the report from the IOM Web site

    “In this report, the IOM offers a blueprint for action in transforming prevention, care, education, and research, with the goal of providing relief for people with pain in America. To reach the vast multitude of people with various types of pain, the nation must adopt a population-level prevention and management strategy.

    “The IOM recommends that HHS develop a comprehensive plan with specific goals, actions, and timeframes. Better data are needed to help shape efforts, especially on the groups of people currently underdiagnosed and undertreated, and the IOM encourages federal and state agencies and private organizations to accelerate the collection of data on pain incidence, prevalence, and treatments.

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    “Because pain varies from patient to patient, healthcare providers should increasingly aim at tailoring pain care to each person’s experience, and self-management of pain should be promoted. In addition, because there are major gaps in knowledge about pain across health care and society alike, the IOM recommends that federal agencies and other stakeholders redesign education programs to bridge these gaps.

    “Pain is a major driver for visits to physicians, a major reason for taking medications, a major cause of disability, and a key factor in quality of life and productivity. Given the burden of pain in human lives, dollars, and social consequences, relieving pain should be a national priority.”

    Over the next few days, I will be reading the full report and will try to summarize its contents for you as well as sharing my thoughts about it with you.  So, as they say on TV, stay tuned for more.

Published On: June 29, 2011