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VHA Pain Management

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For Providers - Team-Based Pain Care

For Providers - Team-basedPaincare

Providing excellent whole person pain care requires a team approach. While the components of the treatment team will vary based on the setting, certain elements of integrated care form the basis for an effective team approach: communication, mutual respect, proactive preparation, and common therapeutic goals. The Biopsychosocial model and the VA Stepped Care Model for Pain Care provide a framework for effective integrated team-based pain care.

Learn about the Biopsychosocial Model of Pain Care

Psychological or social factors influence pain. Such influences are known as the biopsychosocial model of pain. This model is used to interpret pain, the severity of pain is determined not only by physical problems, but also by personal factors and aspects of the environment.

VA PACT Pain Champions

The VA PACT Pain Champions Initiative is a program designed to improve pain care options in primary care. The VA Stepped Care Model for pain care recognizes that many positive approaches to pain  can be utilized in the primary care setting to improve medication safety and offer many safe and effective options for pain related to self-care, pain education,  cognitive behavioral approaches to pain, physical therapy and movement options as well as whole health approaches that incorporate a biospsychosocial approach to pain that also includes  complementary integrative approaches such as mindfulness, yoga and auricular acupuncture.

Since its inception in 2008 as the primary care pain task force the group has now evolved into the pact pain champions that includes a representative from every facility as well as a representative from every VISN. Each group meets monthly and there is also a monthly community of practice call to share ideas and innovations. Some innovations that have come from this program include primary care based pain teams, involvement in the VA SCOUTT program that improves access to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in primary care and other non SUD settings, primary care based pain schools, the PACT Pain roadmap that outlines approaches to pain in primary care, and improved access to opioid overdose education and naloxone to name. Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Site.

Stepped Care Model for Pain Management (SCM-PM)

VHA Directive 2009-053, Pain Management - Veterans Affairs - VHA employs a Stepped Care Model for Pain Management (SCM-PM). The SCM-PM provides a roadmap to providing the appropriate level and intensity of pain management to patients with pain. The SCM-PM is key to providing the right care for the right patient in the right setting.

stepped care model of pain

Abbreviations: CARF=Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

PACT Roadmap for Managing Pain

Pact Thumbnail

The VA Office of Primary Care, in collaboration with other pain care team members and stakeholders, has created this PACT Roadmap for Managing Pain (Pain Roadmap-PDF), to assist PACTs in establishing the processes and relationships needed to provide safe and effective team-based, stepped pain care. Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Site

Stepped Care Model for Pain Management (SCM-PM) Video

This video provides an explanation of the "Stepped Care Model for Pain Management" and its use in the VHA and DoD.  

Provider Education Material -MIRECC / CoE » VISN 2 Center for Integrated Healthcare (CIH)

Provider Education Material for Pain - Headaches
   - Chronic Pain Information Sheet for BHPs (PDF)
   - Example Pain Management Treatment Agreement (PDF)
   - Pocket Guide for Clinicians for Management of Chronic Pain (PDF)
   - Headaches Information Sheet for BHPs (PDF)
   - Monitoring Pain (PDF)
   - Pain Diary  (PDF)

Providers Pain Management - Resource Topics

Stay Current site Whole Person Pain Care site Team-Based Pain Care Site  Specific Population site 

Literature Alerts for VA Staff

The VA Library Network will provide VA staff an index of recent articles related to opioids and many other areas of interest right to your work mailbox. If you are interested in subscribing to this alert click here.

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