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Transl Behav Med. 2012 Dec 1;2(4):523-530. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

A primary care-based interdisciplinary team approach to the treatment of chronic pain utilizing a pragmatic clinical trials framework.

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  • 1Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, OR, USA.


Chronic pain affects at least 116 million adults in the USA and exacts a tremendous cost in suffering and lost productivity. While health systems offer specialized pain services, the primary care setting is where most patients seek and receive care for pain. Primary care-based treatment of chronic pain by interdisciplinary teams (including behavioral specialists, nurse case managers, physical therapists, and pharmacists) is one of the most effective approaches for improving outcomes and managing costs. To ensure robust integration of such services into sustainable health-care programs, evaluations must be conducted by researchers well versed in the methodologies of clinical trials, mixed methods and implementation research, bioinformatics, health services, and cost-effectiveness. Recent national health policy changes, in addition to the increasing recognition of the high prevalence and cost of chronic pain conditions, present a unique opportunity to shift the care paradigm for patients with chronic pain.


Chronic pain; Implementation; Interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary teams; Pragmatic clinical trials; Primary care; Research

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