Chronic pain is among the most common, disabling, and costly chronic illness in the US and Veterans are more likely to experience severe pain than the general US population.
Confusion by both patients and healthcare providers about the most appropriate way to understand and manage chronic pain can be a barrier to effective management. This confusion often stems from using a simplistic biomedical model (derived from conventional approaches to acute pain) to approach the multidimensional biopsychosocial condition of chronic pain and can lead to over-reliance on passive therapies such as opioids and procedures.
Stepped Care Model for Pain Management (SCM-PM)
VHA is improving pain care through implementation of the Stepped Care Model for Pain Management (SCM-PM).
|Abbreviations: CARF=Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, SUD=Substance Use Disorder, MH-PC=Mental Health-Primary Care, OEF/OIF=U.S.-led conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Specifically, OEF means "Operation Enduring Freedom" (the war in Afghanistan), while OIF stands for "Operation Iraqi Freedom," or the Iraq War, COT=chronic opioid therapy.
The VA is Leading the Way in Promoting the Individualized Whole Person Treatment of Chronic Pain.
The solution requires the care team to adopt a whole person approach to pain care based on a modern understanding of chronic pain pathophysiology while emphasizing team-based care and the longitudinal relationship between the patient and the treatment team.
Whole Person Pain Care - aims to support patient goals of improved health, well-being, and function by prioritizing safety and active self-management strategies.
The treatment teams focus on non-pharmacologic therapies that involve active patient participation and careful use of non-opioid pharmacotherapy as the preferred approaches to support patients’ progress towards their individual life values.
Chronic Pain Primer
The Chronic Pain Primer provides more in-depth information about caring for Veterans with chronic pain. A brief introductory text that provides basic information regarding chronic pain and multidisciplinary treatment. (coming soon.)
|| - Understanding Pain video was developed by VA/DOD to provide individuals, family members, and clinicians with general strategies for managing acute and chronic pain.
- Click on this link to watch the video.*
Providers Pain Management - Resource Topics
Literature Alerts for VA Staff
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