Telecare Effective in Improving Pain Management

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Telecare collaborative management can help primary-care patients better manage their chronic musculoskeletal pain, according to a study published in JAMA.

Optimizing nonopioid analgesic medications using a stepped care algorithm and monitoring increased the proportion of patients with improved chronic musculoskeletal pain, Kurt Kroenke, MD, of the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues found.

The study included 250 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain of at least moderate intensity (≥3 months, Brief Pain Inventory [BPI] score ≥5). The patients were enrolled from five primary care clinics in one Veterans Affairs medical center from June 2010 through May 2012. A 12-month follow-up was completed by June 2013.

Patients were randomly assigned to telephone-delivered collaborative care management intervention (n=124) or to usual care, where they received all pain care as usual from their primary care physicians (n=126). The intervention group received 12 months of telecare management that combined automated symptom monitoring with an algorithm-guided stepped-care approach to optimizing analgesics.

Mean baseline BPI scores in the intervention and control groups were 5.31 and 5.12, respectively. After 12 months, the intervention group had a 1.02-point lower BPI score compared with the usual care group. In the intervention group, 51.7% reported at least a 30% improvement in their pain score, compared with just 27.1% of the usual care group.

Telemedicine
Telecare Effectively Improves Pain Management

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a telecare intervention for chronic pain.

Kurt Kroenke, MD, of the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues found that telecare collaborative management increased the proportion of primary care patients with improved chronic musculoskeletal pain. This was accomplished by optimizing nonopioid analgesic medications using a stepped care algorithm and monitoring. 

After 12 months, the intervention group had a 1.02-point lower BPI score compared with the usual care group. In the intervention group, 51.7% reported at least a 30% improvement in their pain score, compared with just 27.1% of the usual care group.

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