In a new paper presented in October 2023, at the Orthopaedic Trauma Association Annual Meeting in Seattle, researchers found that working with a life care specialist improved pain for orthopedic trauma injury patients postoperatively. Pain scores of patients in the small study improved in 90% of patients who worked with a life care specialist. These patients also had 2.8 higher odds of improved pain.
Researchers collected pain scores at baseline and at six and 12 weeks postoperatively, as well as Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) measures and opioid utilization in morphine milligram equivalents.
The researchers described the role of the life care specialist as one of a “coach,” who uses nonpharmacological methods including meditation, pain medication education, music therapy and sleep therapy to help postoperative patients reduce pain.
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