American Pain Society Calls Institute of Medicine Report A ‘Step Forward’ for U.S. Pain Care

Article ID: 578241

Released: 29-Jun-2011 11:00 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: American Pain Society

Newswise — GLENVIEW, Ill., June 29, 2011 -- The American Pain Society (APS) said that “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Treatment, and Research, the report submitted to Congress today by the Institute of Medicine, is a major step forward in addressing the nation’s leading public health problem – untreated and undertreated chronic pain. APS will make further comments after its leadership has had time to review the entire report.

“The IOM report found that every year at least 116 million adult Americans experience pain —more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Pain also costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity,” said Charles E. Inturrisi, PhD, past president of APS. “The committee found that much of this pain is preventable or could be better managed. The report focuses on what individual patients and the heath care system needs to do to effect a transformation of what is clearly a human and economic crisis in America.”

Inturrisi added that the IOM report provides recommendations in pain prevention, care, education, and research that are intended to help achieve a cultural transformation in the way pain is understood, viewed, assessed, and treated. This blueprint for transformative action includes steps and timetables to be undertaken by Government agencies, healthcare providers, healthcare professional associations, educators, public and private funders of health care and patient advocacy groups.

The broad task for the IOM Pain Committee was to study the current state of evidence in pain research, patient care and education and explore new approaches to help advance the field. It is the first comprehensive, high-level government look at pain as a prominent public health problem in the United States.

“APS is encouraged that several strong policy initiatives could emerge from recommendations in the IOM report,” said Inturrisi, “especially recognition of the benefits of multidisciplinary pain care and improved pain education and training for clinicians.”

He added that APS hopes the IOM report will spur action on the part of the medical, dental, nursing and other health professional training communities to more fully integrate pain in their curricula.

Three former APS presidents served on the IOM Pain Committee:

Charles Inturrisi, PhD, Weill Cornell University, APS President 2008-10Richard Payne, MD, Duke University, APS President 2003-04Dennis Turk, PhD, University of Washington, APS President, 2004-06

About the American Pain SocietyBased in Glenview, Ill., the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering. APS was founded in 1978 with 510 charter members. From the outset, the group was conceived as a multidisciplinary organization. The Board of Directors includes physicians, nurses, psychologists, basic scientists, pharmacists, policy analysts and others. For more information on APS, visit www.ampainsoc.org. ###