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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Chronic Pain and Public Health: FMS, Integrative Medicine and Self-Care

Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132, 415-440-8553, aburke@pacbell.net and Jason Satterfield, PhD, Clinical Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 400 Parnassus Avenue, A405, San Franciscoc, CA 94143-0320.

Chronic pain is a major public health problem. An estimated 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, with enormous costs to the individual and society. It significantly affects quality of life, economic productivity, health care utilization, and health care costs. It is also highly associated with issues of medication dependence, high rates of depression, and disability. A key issue is access to care and treatment efficacy. Integrative approaches, including conventional western medicine, alternative modalities, self-care strategies and preventive health education can play a critical role.

As an example, fibromyalgia syndrome is one of the most clinically and economically costly chronic pain syndromes affecting an estimated 6-10 million Americans, primarily women. Its etiology is not understood and leading theories propose multiple causes. The diagnostic ambiguity and stigma associated with FMS may also contribute to the development of illness specific attributions associated with depression and learned helplessness. One study of 332 FMS patients concluded that physical factors such as pain, and psychological factors such as helplessness, had independent and significant relationships with both functional impairment and symptom severity.

No curative treatment for FMS currently exists and no symptom management strategy has been particularly successful. As a result of limits of biomedicine to explain or treat this condition FMS patients are increasingly turning to alternative medical and self-care strategies for disease explanations and treatment relief. The most efficacious treatments for FMS include exercise therapy, education, CBT, acupuncture, relaxation, and pharmacotherapy for mood, sleep or pain. A model integrative treatment strategy is presented.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Managing Chronic Pain with Alternative and Complementary Health Practices

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA