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Pain Med. 2016 Feb;17(2):250-63. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnv095. Epub 2016 Jan 23.

Pain Psychology: A Global Needs Assessment and National Call to Action.

Author information

1
*Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Division of Pain Medicine, Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory, Palo Alto, California bdarnall@stanford.edu.
2
Center for Neurological Restoration, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.
3
Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois.
4
Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, Tampa, Florida.
5
Institute on Development & Disability, IDD Division of Psychology, Oregon Health & Science University.
6
Pain Research, Informatics, Multi-Morbidities and Education (PRIME) Center, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Psychology, Yale University, West Haven, CT, USA.
7
*Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Division of Pain Medicine, Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory, Palo Alto, California.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The Institute of Medicine and the draft National Pain Strategy recently called for better training for health care clinicians. This was the first high-level needs assessment for pain psychology services and resources in the United States.

DESIGN:

Prospective, observational, cross-sectional.

METHODS:

Brief surveys were administered online to six stakeholder groups (psychologists/therapists, individuals with chronic pain, pain physicians, primary care physicians/physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and the directors of graduate and postgraduate psychology training programs).

RESULTS:

1,991 responses were received. Results revealed low confidence and low perceived competency to address physical pain among psychologists/therapists, and high levels of interest and need for pain education. We found broad support for pain psychology across stakeholder groups, and global support for a national initiative to increase pain training and competency in U.S. therapists. Among directors of graduate and postgraduate psychology training programs, we found unanimous interest for a no-cost pain psychology curriculum that could be integrated into existing programs. Primary barriers to pain psychology include lack of a system to identify qualified therapists, paucity of therapists with pain training, limited awareness of the psychological treatment modality, and poor insurance coverage.

CONCLUSIONS:

This report calls for transformation within psychology predoctoral and postdoctoral education and training and psychology continuing education to include and emphasize pain and pain management. A system for certification is needed to facilitate quality control and appropriate reimbursement. There is a need for systems to facilitate identification and access to practicing psychologists and therapists skilled in the treatment of pain.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic Pain; Education; Pain Management; Pain Training Programs; Psychology

PMID:
26803844
PMCID:
PMC4758272
DOI:
10.1093/pm/pnv095
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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