For some useful short overviews of the project, check out these videos:
Interview with General Schoomaker, leader of the Task Force:
The following excerpt is from the article by Catrina Francis, "Army takes a Hard Look at Chronic, Acute Pain" published August 2010 on army.mil.
The Army Pain Management Task Force, "stated in its assessment that the failure to adequately address pain in the health care system continues to result in unnecessary suffering, exacerbation of other medical conditions, and huge financial and personnel costs." [Francis, August 2010.]
- Provide tools and infrastructure that support and encourage practice and research advancement in pain management.
- Build a full spectrum of best practices for the continuum of acute and chronic pain, based on a foundation of best available evidence.
- Focus on the warrior and family-sustaining the force.
- Synchronize a culture of pain awareness, education, and proactive intervention." [Francis, August 2010]
Schoomaker explained that with the increasing numbers of Soldiers returning from combat with severe wounds, reports of medication abuse and suicides with pain as a possible factor are troubling.
He said part of the problem is that severely injured Soldiers, like those in Warrior Transition Units, are often prescribed multiple medications and sometimes seen by several different doctors, which can cause inconsistencies in care. But he maintained that this is not just an Army problem-it's a problem throughout the U.S. healthcare system." [Hemmerly-Brown, Army News] [emphasis my own]
- Mission 1--Refine an interdisciplinary model of pain management and practice. Use modern technology and complementary medicine modalities for treating pain. "Acupuncturists, massage therapists, and movement therapists will be critical members of the IPMC teams. The IPMC will serve as the pain specialty referral clinic for their facility and designated portion of their geographic region."
- Mission 2--Serve as pain management outreach and education for primary care within their facility and region. Pain management starts in the primary care setting. Primary care providers must be educated about appropriate pain management and the resources available to them, particularly those through the IPMC
- Mission 3--connect to the smaller pain management augmentation teams at smaller medical facilities. These smaller teams will have a primary care pain champion, a clinical pharmacist, and a care coordinator. This small team will be the local link to the designated IPMC and "allow for synchronized implementation of education and practice updates as indicated in the" Army Comprehensive Pain Management Campaign Plan. [Galloway, 2011]
Galloway also mentions a system that is being developed for tracking outcome data for pain management. This system is a combination of PASTOR (Patient Assessment and Outcomes Registry) and PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System). PROMIS was created by the National Institutes of Health and Northwestern University. If successful the PROMIS-PASTOR system will be "a national model for measurements-based care". [Galloway, 2011]
The Army Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division (R2D)
This is the U.S. Army’s comprehensive oversight office for all rehabilitation and reintegration programs and policies for wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and their Families, to include those with chronic/acute musculoskeletal injury and pain, traumatic brain injury, amputations, polytrauma, and functional limitations related to combat stress.
We develop, guide, and influence strategic rehabilitation and reintegration policy and programs to optimize the quality of life and function of Soldiers and their Families.
To be military medicine’s premier organization for integrative rehabilitation and reintegration.
Related blog posts:
Meditation for Combat-Related Stress
NPR 5 minute story: Acupuncture in Army Medicine
Video: Acupuncture in Military--Kandahar
Acupuncture Used to Treat TBI at Military Concussive Care Center
Art Therapy for PTSD and TBI at Walter Reed
Bradbury, Tom. "Army's Pain Management Initiative a Collaborative Effort". September 15th, 2011. Northwest Guardian.
Hemmerly-Brown, Alexandra. "Army looking at yoga, acupuncture to treat pain." June 25th, 2010. Army News.
Galloway, Kevin T. "Military Medicine Leading the Way for the Nation". MMT 2011, volume 15, issue 7 (November 2011).
|ClipArt: Chaplain counselling at bedside|