LOADING...

Posts Tagged "pain"

18Jul

New report calls for overhaul of chronic pain treatment

by admin

A new report from the Canadian Pain Task Force is calling the issue of chronic pain a “significant public health issue” and says the health sector has a chance to overhaul how it is treated to better help Canadians.

The report notes that one in five Canadians are thought to live with chronic pain, with two-thirds of those reporting their pain as moderate to severe.

“People living with pain have limited access to the services they require and often face stigma and undue suffering as a result of their condition,” the report reads.

Chronic pain has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a disease, and is defined as pain persisting or recurring for longer than three months, associated with significant emotional distress, significant functional disability and the symptoms are not better accounted for by another diagnoses.

It notes chronic pain more often afflicts those in populations living in poverty, Indigenous peoples and women, among others.

The opioid overdose crisis has also complicated the treatment options for those suffering from chronic pain.

The task force claims people who could benefit from opioids to manage pain are now facing barriers to obtain a prescription.

“There is a need to promote shared decision-making between health care professionals and people living with pain. Prescribing decisions must be based on the unique needs of the individual, but this is not supported by the current environment.”

The report calls for better co-ordination between the provinces and territories as a starting point.

“Provincial/territorial policies and efforts could be better coordinated to reduce duplication of effort, maximize efficiency and implementation of best practices, and ensure people living with pain have the same level of care across Canada,” the report reads.

Pain BC – an organization that looks to help those suffering from chronic pain in British Columbia – welcomed the report and its conclusions.

“This report makes Health Canada aware of what Canadians with pain have known for too long: that pain care is largely not accessible, many health care providers lack the knowledge and skills to manage pain and breakthroughs in research are hampered by lack of funding,” said Executive Director Maria Hudspith in a statement. “We hope this report lays the foundation for a national pain strategy that will improve the lives of Canadians who live with pain.”


Source link

3Apr

National chronic pain task force a first step: federal health minister

by admin

‘People with chronic pain are often underemployed or unemployed because they simply cannot work and not all of us have extended health benefits and even health benefits run out,’ says Andrew Koster.


‘People with chronic pain are often underemployed or unemployed because they simply cannot work and not all of us have extended health benefits and even health benefits run out,’ says Andrew Koster.


CHAD HIPOLITO / CANADIAN PRESS files

The federal health minister is forming a national task force to provide input on how to better prevent, treat and manage chronic pain, which affects one in five Canadians and is often addressed with opioids.

Ginette Petitpas Taylor said in an interview Wednesday the task force will provide information on barriers that may prevent people suffering with persistent pain from receiving the treatment they need.

“This is the first step in addressing the issue of chronic pain in this country,” she said, adding the eight members will consult with governments and advocacy groups around the country and provide an initial report in June, followed by two more over the next couple of years.

Petitpas Taylor made the announcement in Toronto at the 40th annual scientific meeting of the Canadian Pain Society, which has long called for a national pain strategy, especially as the opioid crisis has exacerbated the stigma around prescribing and use of the pain killers.

She said she committed to exploring the creation of a national pain task force after a discussion with patients, clinicians and researchers at a symposium in Toronto last year, when she heard people living with pain often feel their condition is misunderstood and services are inconsistent.

“We have to recognize that Canada’s a big country and we certainly know there’s inconsistent services in provinces and territories so I have to really have a good understanding of what’s available and what’s happening out there,” Petitpas Taylor said.


Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, stands during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017.

Sean Kilpatrick /

The Canadian Press

Advocates for pain patients presented the former Conservative government with a plan in 2012, but Petitpas Taylor said it’s too early to say whether such a plan will be introduced.

Andrew Koster, who suffers from debilitating lower back and knee pain from a type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, said he’s concerned the task force’s work will go nowhere if there’s a change in government in October.

“I’m looking for signs from the government that they’re taking this seriously and it’s not just something to state during an election campaign,” he said. “There has to be definite action.”

Koster, who will have surgery on his left knee next month following an operation on the other one last year, said he can no longer afford to pay $100 a week for acupuncture to deal with daily pain after he voluntarily reduced his opioids over concerns about any long-term consequences.

“People with chronic pain are often underemployed or unemployed because they simply cannot work and not all of us have extended health benefits and even health benefits run out,” he said from Victoria.

He said it’s crucial for the task force to identify non-drug costs for patients and provinces for services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and acupuncture as part of any strategy it may come up with in its final report.

Andrew Koster, who suffers from debilitating lower back and knee pain from a type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, pictured at his home in Victoria in 2018.


Andrew Koster, who suffers from debilitating lower back and knee pain from a type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, pictured at his home in Victoria in 2018.

CHAD HIPOLITO /

CANADIAN PRESS files

Serena Patterson, a 60-year-old psychologist in Comox, has lived with pain associated with fibromyalgia for over half her life and also developed migraines that prevented her from continuing her teaching job at a college.

She said a three-year task force seems excessive, especially because advocacy groups have enough information on health-care gaps and patients wait too long to see specialists.

“I think we know that people are dying in an opioid epidemic and chronic pain patients are high on that list,” Patterson said.

“I would hope that this three years would be building, not more research. What needs to be built is a network of multidisciplinary team programs that are accessible, that are in rural areas as well as urban areas, that provide not only medical support but psychological as well as social support to help people be full participants in their life and in their community.”

Dr. Norman Buckley, scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care at McMaster University in Hamilton, said hundreds of organizations, patients, clinicians and researchers came together in providing the federal government with the strategy in 2012. There was no action at the time but he said the opioid epidemic has now made that unavoidable.

Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter

Related

CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email [email protected].




Source link

21Mar

UBC researchers create robot to help sooth pain of NICU babies

by admin


UBC researcher Liisa Holsti, with a therapeutic robot that simulates human skin-to-skin contact and helps to reduce pain for babies, in the neonatal intensive-care unit at B.C. Women’s Hospital in Vancouver on March 22.


NICK PROCAYLO / PNG

Nothing soothes a newborn’s pain like the tender touch of a loving parent, but researchers at the University of B.C. hope their new robot might help sometimes.

“Calmer” was created to mimic hand-hugging, a treatment in which a premature baby’s head, hands and legs are gently held in a curled position to help manage pain from medical procedures. Lead inventor Liisa Holsti developed the robot with colleagues at UBC and said it mimics some of the therapeutic aspects of skin-to-skin holding.

The white-metal device is about the size of a standard pillow. On top of it rests a silicon mat wrapped in Gore-Tex fabric, meant to feel like a parent’s soft touch. When the robot is turned on, its platform gently rocks up-and-down while playing the sound of a beating heart, both programmed to match the rate of a parent’s own breaths and heartbeat.

“The type of pain that these babies have actually changes their brain development and so what we’re trying to do is protect the brain of premature babies,” said Holsti, an associate professor at the department of occupational science and therapy.

Holsti was also lead scientist for the robot’s first randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether it reduced pain in premature babies at B.C. Women’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The 49 premature babies in the study had just undergone a routine, medically ordered blood test, so the study caused them no additional pain. Half were hand-hugged, the other half were placed on the robot.

The researchers then looked at how the babies’ faces and hands changed, as well as their heart rates and brain-oxygen levels.

“We found no difference between the robot treatment and the human-touch treatment,” Holsti said.

Holsti stressed that the robot isn’t a replacement for human touch, but could be helpful in many cases. Her hope is that it could eventually be available for all premature babies.

“There are times when it’s very busy in an NICU and nurses may not be able to be there all the time when a lab tech comes to take the blood, and so our goal would be that Calmer would be available when parents can’t do skin-to-skin holding or nurses have to be doing other things,” she said.

“It’s an additive to care. It’s not meant to replace human beings,” she said.

Lauren Mathany, 34, a new Vancouver mother who works in public health, said that while “Calmer” wasn’t yet being used when her twin girls Hazel and Isla were born four months’ premature, she can see how it could have helped. It would have comforted the twins — now healthy, happy and close to 11 months old — and given some reassurance to Mathany and her husband, who works in construction, she said.


Lauren Mathany with twin sisters Hazel, left, and Isla is enthusiastic about a therapeutic robot that simulates human skin-to-skin contact, helping reduce pain for babies in the neonatal intensive-care unit at B.C. Women’s Hospital.

NICK PROCAYLO /

PNG

“I think it would have been great,” Mathany said.

During the four months the girls were in the NICU, Mathany and her husband gave the girls plenty of hand-hugging and hours of skin-to-skin contact every day. They would sing and talk to them too.

But the new parents couldn’t be at the NICU around the clock and needed to rest so they could take proper care of themselves and the girls, she said.

“If the Calmer was available to them, we’d know that during medical procedures, blood work, etc., that there was something there to make them feel safe and reassured, and feel that we were still with them, even though we couldn’t be, physically,” she said.

[email protected]

twitter.com/nickeagland

CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email [email protected].</p




Source link

23Oct

After surgery, 15 per cent of B.C. patients rush back to hospital, mainly due to pain, bleeding or infections

by admin





Royal Columbian Hospital Emergency Room entrance.
While Dr. McDonald said the study was done on patients who went to the Chilliwack hospital, she believes the results can be applied more generally.


Ward Perrin / PROVINCE

Post-operative visits to the emergency department are fairly common with just over 15 per cent of patients going to a hospital emergency department within six weeks after any type of surgery, a B.C. study shows.

The most frequent complaints and diagnoses were surgery-related pain, infections, and bleeding, according to the cover-featured study published in the B.C. Medical Journal.

Study co-author Dr. Susan McDonald said that since more and more patients are released the same day as their operations, patients are losing close attention and education from nurses. That loss in post-operative oversight has increased the likelihood that patients will experience concerns or complications after they’ve been discharged.

McDonald, a general surgeon at Chilliwack General Hospital, said some surgeons tell patients to come back for follow-ups two to three weeks after their operation, while others stipulate six weeks; often it has to do with the complexity of the procedure. But patients often feel they can’t wait that long when problems arise.

The finding that 15.1 per cent of surgery patients are rushing to the emergency department within weeks following surgery suggests there are quality improvement measures required, McDonald said. She’s urged the Fraser Health Authority, for example, to immediately notify surgeons when one of their patients has returned to the hospital. But she said the health authority has to find a workaround to alter the way computerized hospital records are formatted so that surgeons can receive such notifications whenever one of their patients has a post-operative problem.

“As a surgeon, I want to be alerted about patients who have complications. I can’t fix anything I don’t know about,” McDonald said. “Surgeons need this information as well for their own personal learning. It’s disheartening when patients develop infections. They lose faith in their doctors and in the system.”

She said patients also need to ask more questions, be given more information as part of their informed consent process, and be urged to read and retain the handout brochures they are given so they know what to expect after surgery.

The study was based on the charts — marked for the study purposes with a red dot — of about 250 post-operative patients who went to the Chilliwack hospital in the summer of 2015.

Of the total, just over half had their surgery at that hospital while the rest had their operations in other hospitals. Only two patients who went to the ER required admission to hospital while the rest were prescribed antibiotics, other medications, or some form of treatment and then released.

McDonald said while the study was done on patients who went to the Chilliwack hospital, she believes the results can be applied more generally.

“There are not a lot of studies that have been published that look at things from this approach. Most studies look at either specific diseases or procedures and then look back retrospectively to determine the rate of emergency room visits. But I believe we were very close to the numbers quoted in those other few studies.”

The takeaway message for patients and doctors is that communication is critically important, she said. Anticipated or even unexpected issues should be covered during consultations with surgeons. Patients should know what to expect, including how much pain and discomfort may be expected since all surgery does involve some pain. Patients should also have discussions with doctors about who to see or where to go if they have problems so that emergency departments aren’t necessarily the default destination for visits that aren’t true emergencies.

But McDonald admits it’s also likely that the growing number of patients without primary care physicians is contributing to a high number of patients using ERs.

“Up to 30 per cent of patients in Chilliwack don’t have a family doctor. This is definitely something on my radar now and may be a strong factor in why people are going to the ER.”

McDonald said while an ideal scenario would involve emergency doctors calling surgeons when their patients attend the ER, she knows they are usually far too busy to do that, not to mention reluctant to call surgeons late at night or on weekends.

“Emergency doctors are awesome, they’re doing their best, but they are overworked. Still, this is an issue about the need for better communication so no one should be afraid to pick up the phone or notify surgeons who may want to know what the problem is and how to rectify it.”

McDonald said further research is taking a deeper dive into the data.

A few months ago, another B.C. study showed that this province has the second highest hospital readmission rate in the country. Hospital readmission rates are a marker of health system performance and add substantial costs to hospitals.

The national average for urgent, unplanned readmissions for medical problems like mental health issues, cancer, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is 9.1 per cent. But the B.C. rate is 9.6 per cent while Saskatchewan has the highest rate — at 9.9 per cent.

[email protected]

Twitter.com/MedicineMatters

 




Source link

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.