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VHA Pain Management

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For Providers - Whole Person Pain Care

For Providers - Whole Person Pain Care


Narrow focus on a single body part or on one aspect of the pain experience can lead to unsafe and ineffective treatments.  A whole person approach to pain care recognizes that pain is a complex, multidimensional, biopsychosocial experience and that treatment must focus on all aspects of a person’s health, life, and relationships.

Whole Health at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) wholepain

The VHA is a leader in promoting individualized whole person pain care.

Adopting a Whole Health Approach:

  • Places each person at the center of his or her own health care
  • Shifts the focus of care toward health and well-being
  • Utilizes Mindful Awareness to promote self-care and healing
  • Emphasizes the importance of relationships and partnerships
  • Incorporates a range of conventional and complementary approaches 

– Learn more about whole health at the VHA’s Whole Health for Life website.
– Brief videos and podcasts about whole health from other Veterans, VA leaders and clinicians across VA.  Whole Health -  video series: 

Whole Health Library  wholehealth

Whole Health Library - is a collaborative effort of the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Integrative Health Program, in support of the VHA’s effort to affect transformational change towards a Whole Health model of health care delivery. 

– It contains courses, educational overviews, clinical tools and Veteran handouts: Whole Health Library 

Complementary Integrated Medicine (CAM) Recommendations

Mental Health Innovations Template - Pain

National Institute for Health (NIH) - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health  meditation

– NIH site contains research and information about complementary health products and practices: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health 

Opioid Risk Mitigation  Opiois Safety Page

In addition to providing a whole person treatment for individuals with chronic pain, careful and thoughtful implementation of opioid risk mitigation and exit strategies is a key part to providing safe and effective pain care.

– Please see the Opioid Saftey section of the pain management website for extensive information on opioid risk mitigation strategies.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)

– ODPHP - Pathways to Safer Opioid Use is an interactive training that promotes the appropriate, safe, and effective use of opioids to manage chronic pain: https://health.gov/hcq/training-pathways.asp

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.

Disclaimer: *Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.