Background: Encouraging Patients to Manage Chronic Pain Using the Latest Evidence from Research is a multi-stakeholder coalition of patients, patient advocates, researchers, and physicians committed to preparing people with arthritis and chronic pain as ambassadors in the dissemination of evidence-based information on effective chronic pain management. After undergoing a selection and training process, ambassadors will promote and disseminate information from the latest research on effective chronic pain management to peers in their communities.
While much information is available online regarding multipronged strategies for chronic pain management, it is not always easy for patients, especially those with lower levels of health literacy, to determine whether the information is evidence-based. Indeed, many patients may not know about the critical importance of adhering to evidence-based information from high-quality research to guide their health decisions. Further, the increasing availability of health information online about traditional and alternative treatment for chronic pain has led to confusion about how and whether to rely on medications, including opioid drugs, or alternative treatments, such as CBD oil, acupuncture, or tai chi. Without easy-to-navigate and trustworthy evidence-based information on chronic pain management, unproven, misleading, or inaccurate information can spread easily.
Proposed Solution: The project team’s aim is to disseminate high-quality evidence-based research on chronic pain management, including research findings from the PCORI-funded research study, “Treating Chronic Pain Using Approaches Adapted for Patients with Limited Reading Skills” (PI: Beverly E. Thorn, PhD, PCORI:941). The team will train patients to be critical consumers of research as well as ambassadors to peers in their communities who can share and promote evidence-based information on effective chronic pain management. Ambassador engagement and training will take place through a range of dissemination activities including webinars, in-person workshops, community events, and self-paced online courses.
Objective: The objective of the proposed two-year project on chronic pain management is the development of an engaged and informed cohort of patients and stakeholders who can participate in the dissemination of findings about chronic pain management. Through the development of a patient network comprised of an educated cohort of patients, this project will disseminate evidence-based information to improve chronic pain management. In light of recent concerns about the safety and effectiveness of opioid use for chronic pain, the team’s long-term goal is to minimize over-reliance on and unsafe use of opioids for chronic pain management among patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.