Nurse Care Managers are as Effective as Psychologists in Delivering Coping-Skills Strategies

A recent research paper published in Military Medicine highlights the psychological distress seen in people who have chronic pain, and highlights the value of nurses, in effectively delivering cognitive-behavioral therapy and other interventions to address this suffering. The paper is one of several being published from the ESCAPE (Evaluation of Stepped Care for Chronic Pain) study of 242 American veterans of recent military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Patricia Bruckenthal, PhD, president of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing said her own research reflects these results. “Our work shows that nurse practitioners are as consistent as psychologists in delivering coping-skills strategies in patients with osteoarthritis, and this new research is supporting that also. The nurses have good teaching skills and provide an important human connection to the patients,” She commended the VA team for their work and said this model should be extended to treatment of all patients with chronic pain. Read a news story about the ESCAPE trial here.

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