238492 Incorporating Complementary and Alternative Therapies into a Clinic-based Chronic Pain Program for Underserved Patients

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:30 PM

Megan Winsor-Lovely, PA-S , Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Washington, DC
Unity Health Care is a non-profit network of federally-qualified Community Health Centers serving over 80,000 low-income underserved residents of the District of Columbia. Upper Cardozo Health Center is the largest clinic in this network serving approximately 20,000 patients annually and serving a large immigrant and African American population. Since September of 2010, we have been running a group visit program for patients with chronic pain. The goal of this program is to improve patients' ability to self-manage their pain, and to ultimately decrease their pain and stress and improve their functioning. Participants are referred by their primary care providers and have a variety of chronic pain diagnoses, including arthritis, low back pain, sickle cell anemia, fibromyalgia and others. As of February 2011 we have completed 10 bi-monthly classes, with an average of 12 participants per session. In these classes they are exposed to a wide range of complementary and alternative therapies, including yoga, massage therapy, meditation, music, and art. Through a modified Brief Pain Inventory we evaluate our program and have seen many positive changes: significant decreased daily stress and pain, as well as improved mood, sleep and enjoyment of life. This program is a successful example of how to incorporate complementary and alternative therapies into a clinic setting caring for underserved populations.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe structure of clinic-based group visit model addressing chronic pain. 2. Identify complementary and alternative modalities taught to chronic pain program participants since September 2010. (e.g. yoga, meditation, nutrition, massage, music, etc.) 3. Analyze effects of these therapies on pain and stress levels, medication usage, patient satisfaction with care, etc.

Keywords: Chronic Illness, Health Centers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I collected and analyzed the data for the presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.