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Invited Commentary |

Tailoring Chronic Pain Care by Brief Assessment of Impact and Prognosis
Comment on “Point-of-Care Prognosis for Common Musculoskeletal Pain in Older Adults”

Michael Von Korff, ScD
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(12):1126-1127. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6486.
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In 2011, an Institute of Medicine report, Relieving Pain in America, called for a cultural transformation of pain care.1 The report concluded that “healthcare providers should increasingly aim at tailoring pain care to each person's experience, and self-management of pain should be promoted.”1(p1) Medical treatments are often less than adequate for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Ordering more diagnostic tests of uncertain value, prescribing more prescription analgesics with poorly understood risks and benefits, and providing more surgical procedures, nerve blocks, and epidural injections will not achieve the aims of improved patient outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and more prudent use of finite health care resources.2,3 Rather, we need to help patients with chronic pain resume valued life activities by placing more emphasis on improving quality of life and less on interventions that afford only short-term pain relief with appreciable risks and costs.

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