Tim Brunson DCH

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Effects of a pain education program in Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatment utilization

BACKGROUND: Past studies have shown that U.S. Veterans are consumers of CAM. However, more than 75% of Veteran non-users report they would utilize these treatment options if made available. Thus, Veterans may not be fully aware of the CAM options currently available to them in the current U.S. VA health care system. OBJECTIVES: The current study tested the hypothesis that Veterans would report an increase in CAM utilization after completing a formal pain education program in a VA medical center. DESIGN: The study used a quasi-experimental, one-group, pre/post-test design. SETTING: Midwestern, U.S. VA Medical Center. PARTICIPANTS: The responses from 103 Veterans who elected to participate in the program and the assessment measures were included in the outcome analyses. INTERVENTION: "Pain Education School" is a 12-week, educational program that is open to all Veterans and their families. It is a comprehensive program that introduces patients to 23 different disciplines at the VA Medical Center that deal with chronic, non-cancer pain. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: An adaptation of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire(©), SECTION A: Use of Alternative Health Care Providers. RESULTS: There was a significant difference found in overall utilization of CAM after completing the pain education program. The most utilized CAM modality was the chiropractor; the least utilized were hypnosis and aromatherapy. CONCLUSIONS: Not all health care systems or providers may have access to an education-focused, professionally driven program as an amenity. However, lessons can be learned from this study in terms of what pain providers may be able to accomplish in their practice. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Complement Ther Med. 2015 Jun;23(3):413-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.04.005. Epub 2015 Apr 28. Cosio D(1), Lin EH(2). Author information: (1)Anesthesiology/Pain Clinic, 820 S. Damen #124, Chicago, United States. Electronic address: david.cosio2@va.gov. (2)Pharmacy/Pain Clinic, 820 S. Damen #119, Chicago, United States. Electronic address: erica.lin@va.gov.

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