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Phone-based Intervention Can Help Alleviate Pain

Int J Geriatr Psych; ePub 2018 Mar 2; Helstrom, et al

Pain Care Management (PCM), a telephone‐based care management intervention, is an acceptable and feasible behavioral intervention for an older community‐based population and can lead to improvements in anxiety symptoms and interference from chronic pain for those on psychotropic medications. Participants were drawn from a state‐sponsored program offering care management services to community members aged ≥65 years who were prescribed a psychotropic medication by a primary care provider. Chronic pain information was collected for all participants in the state program (n= 250) and treatment outcome data were collected for a subset with significant chronic pain. 80 participants with high chronic pain interference were offered PCM and were compared to 80 participants with chronic pain who received monitoring only on depression, anxiety, and pain interference outcomes. Researchers found:

  • Chronic pain was identified in 14% of older adults newly prescribed a psychotropic medication.
  • Compared to monitoring only, PCM participants had higher odds of seeing a reduction of ≥2 points in pain interference at 6 months.
  • PCM participants' anxiety scores significantly decreased over the study period.

Helstrom A, Haratz J, Chen S, Benson A, Streim J, Oslin D. Telephone‐based management of chronic pain in older adults in an integrated care program. [Published online ahead of print March 2, 2018]. Int J Geriatr Psych. doi:10.1002/gps.4860.