143725 - Chronic Pain: an integrative approach
- : Online
This activity is designed to help general practitioners consider how an integrative medicine approach might be incorporated into the care of patients with chronic pain. It highlights some of the risks and benefits of complementary therapies, and focuses on how complementary therapies that are supported by evidence can be integrated into guidelines-based management of four chronic pain conditions: chronic low-back pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, tension-type headache and rheumatoid arthritis.
Tempo activities are designed as quick, 30 minute activities (when both the Overview and Interactive activity are completed) but recognise the additional effort GPs undertake when utilising the supplemental resources provided. Hence, this activity has been approved by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) Program for 2 Category 2 points in the 2017–2019 triennium.
Relevance to General Practice
The burden of pain in Australia is significant and thus this is an area of healthcare that all GPs need to understand and maintain current knowledge in. It is estimated that almost one in five adult Australians report current chronic pain.
GPs are typically at the front line of providing or facilitating access to this care; individuals with acute and chronic pain present commonly to GPs. The National Health Survey 2007–2008 of adults over 18 years of age reported that 9.7% of participants said that they had severe or very severe pain; 19.3% said that they had moderate pain, and 39.1% reported mild or very mild pain.
The withdrawal of codeine as a widespread option for pain management has led to patients presenting to GPs requesting prescriptions for codeine products and/or other forms of pain management and therefore presents an ideal opportunity for GPs to reassess the patient and consider appropriate holistic pain management strategies, including non-drug approaches.
- outline the rationale for integrative medicine in the care of patients with chronic pain in general practice
- explain why GPs should routinely identify whether their patients are using complementary therapies
- describe a rational approach to the use of integrative therapies in patients with chronic pain