Results reported from an initiative undertaken at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California provide new support for a collaborative approach to chronic pain management that includes having patients set their own treatment goals and expectations, balancing the needs of pain management with physical functioning and encouraging use of nonpharmacologic pain treatments. PAINWeek faculty member Jeffrey Fudin, PharmD, BS, commented “Incorporating pain management tools specifically to engage patients in their own care and set realistic expectations for pain management, as this program has done, has the potential to significantly affect how patients perceive and experience pain.”
The new initiative at Cedars-Sinai represents a move away from a reactive approach to pain management, according to Kapil Anand, MD, assistant professor in the medical center’s Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, who helped spearhead the effort. The first step toward a more proactive approach was to correlate pain severity and pain management with physical functioning. Dr. Anand’s team did so by adding behavior-specific statements to the Wong-Baker Facial Grimace Scale, a commonly used visual analog pain scale.