4205.0 Public Health Significance of Pain: a report from the Institute of Medicine

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 12:30 PM
Through a Congressional mandate, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) asked the IOM to assess the current state of the science with respect to pain research, care, and education, and to examine pain as a public health problem. Acute and chronic pain affects large numbers of Americans, with at least 116 million U.S. adults burdened by chronic pain alone. The annual national economic cost associated with chronic pain is estimated to be $560-635 billion. Pain is a uniquely individual and subjective experience that depends on a variety of biological, psychological, and social factors, and different population groups experience pain differentially. For many patients, treatment of pain is inadequate not just because of uncertain diagnoses and societal stigma, but also because of shortcomings in the availability of effective treatments and inadequate patient and clinician knowledge about the best ways to manage pain. In the committee’s view, addressing the nation’s enormous burden of pain will require a cultural transformation in the way pain is understood, assessed, and treated. This report provides recommendations intended to help achieve this transformation. Two members of the IOM committee, Olivia Carter-Pokras and Ursula Wesselmann will provide an overview of the IOM report, discuss its relevance for public health, and discuss opportunities for public health intervention to address pain.
Session Objectives: Learning Objectives 1. Describe the public health significance of pain 2. Identify barriers to appropriate pain care and populations that are disparately undertreated for pain 3. Discuss potential public health approaches to address pain

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Organized by: Epidemiology

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