National Pain Strategy Released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released the National Pain Strategy (NPS) in March 2016.  The NPS outlines the federal government’s first coordinated plan for reducing the burden of chronic pain that affects millions of Americans.  Developed by a diverse team of experts from around the nation, the National Pain Strategy is a roadmap toward achieving a system of care in which all people receive appropriate, high quality and evidence-based care for pain.

The NPS makes recommendations for improving overall pain care in America in six key areas:

1.  Population research
2.  Prevention and care
3.  Disparities
4.  Service delivery and payment
5.  Professional education and training
6.  Public education and communication

More specifically, the Strategy calls for:

•   Developing methods and metrics to monitor and improve the prevention and management of pain.

•   Supporting the development of a system of patient-centered integrated pain management practices based on a biopsychosocial model of care that enables providers and patients to access the full spectrum of pain treatment options.

•   Taking steps to reduce barriers to pain care and improve the quality of pain care for vulnerable, stigmatized and underserved populations.

•  Increasing public awareness of pain, increasing patient knowledge of treatment options and risks, and helping to develop a better informed health care workforce with regard to pain management.

These efforts will build on the current work underway from the Federal Medicine to equip providers with the tools and information they need to make informed patient-centered treatment decisions that include safer and appropriate opioid prescribing.

The goals of the National Pain Strategy can be achieved through a broad effort in which better pain care is provided, along with safer prescribing practices, such as those recommended in the recently released CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

For additional information or to download the full NPS, visit: http://iprcc.nih.gov/National_Pain_Strategy/NPS_Main.htm