|November 5, 2018
New Web-based Decision Support Tool Helps With Chronic Pain Treatment
Patient–provider communication is critically important in pain management and predicts patient satisfaction better than actual decreases in reported pain. A new web-based decision support tool helps patients with chronic pain and their health care providers work together to better manage chronic pain. The tool is free of charge and can be accessed at ThePainAPP.com
Here’s how it works. Patients interact with PainAPP on their own (online) before seeing their provider, answering questions about their treatment goals and preferences, viewing videos of other patients dealing with chronic pain, and learning ways to manage chronic pain and improve communication with providers. PainAPP also walks patients through a comprehensive pain assessment, including risk for opioid misuse, psychosocial and behavioral factors, and attitudes towards different pain treatments. A summary report is generated that the patient can share with print out or send to their provider through a patient portal. This report includes the patient’s treatment goals, preferences, and a comprehensive pain assessment. This information can help providers better understand their patients, spend less time collecting data, and more time talking with patients about what matters to them.
The tool was pilot tested in a prospective controlled pilot study. Participants were referred through providers or patient networks. Testing included 38 participants (68% female, 85% white), half (56%) referred by providers. Half (47%) of PainAPP users shared their summary report with their provider. Both PainAPP and the control website were highly rated in all areas, with PainAPP slightly outperforming the control website on most dimensions. All PainAPP users would recommend it to others with chronic pain; nearly all trusted the information and said it helped them think about my treatment goals (94%), understand my chronic pain (82%), make the most of my next doctor's visit (82%), not want to use opioids (73%), think about the pros and cons of opioids (71%), manage my chronic pain (65%), and want to stop using opioid medications (33%).
In conclusion, PainAPP offers a new approach for patient education, comprehensive pain assessment and patient-provider communication. PainAPP appears useful in improving communication and chronic pain management and discouraging opioid use. If you have any questions or are interested in customizing the tool for your practice, please email PainApp@SDMR.us.
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