Pain Care and Opioids
About 20% of adults in the United States indicated experiencing chronic pain in 2019. (The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics)
An estimated 50,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2019. (The NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse)
The cost of prescription opioid misuse in the U.S. is estimated at $78.5 million per year. (The NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Related PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs)
The following PFA opens on May 2, 2023. Letters of intent are due on May 31, 2023 by 5:00 pm ET.
Study Results that Support Better-Informed Decisions
Comparing Ways to Treat Back Pain Using a Stratified Risk Approach
A PCORI-funded study aimed to test whether a risk-stratified approach to treatment in primary care settings would result in lower rates of patients with acute back pain developing chronic back pain. To assess chronic pain risk, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh asked patients questions about how they were coping with back pain and assigned them to either low-, medium-, or high-risk groups. Patients who scored high risk were placed into two groups: usual care or usual care plus psychologically informed physical therapy, which also teaches patients coping skills to manage back pain. As reported in EClinical Medicine, among patients at high risk, 50 percent developed chronic back pain regardless of type of care, while 20 percent of low-risk and 33 percent of medium-risk patients developed chronic low back pain.
Pain Care and Opioids Study Spotlights
Tackling Chronic Pain While Reducing Opioid Use
This study found that a clinical plan to encourage safe opioid prescribing for pain succeeded in lowering patients’ doses.
People Involved in Chronic Pain Research
Hear about several comparative clinical effectiveness research studies that aim to help patients and those who care for them make better-informed decisions about their options for managing chronic pain.
Non-Opioid Therapies for Chronic Low Back Pain
This study compares how well cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation work in mitigating pain and enabling people to reduce or discontinue opioid use.