Australia’s first national care standard for low back pain was released today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. The new standard provides a road map for healthcare practitioners to help patients manage low back pain episodes early and reduce their chance of ongoing problems. Painaustralia’s Mary-Lynne Cochrane was part of the working group that helped to develop the standard.
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Impact of opioid regulatory reforms on people living with chronic pain survey report
Painaustralia's report, Impact of opioid regulatory reforms on people living with chronic pain details the first-hand experiences of consumers since the changes were introduced by the Australian Government in June 2020.
The survey, which spanned an eight-week period from December 2020 until February 2022 attracted over 1,800 respondents.
The main themes that emerged within our report were:
- the lack of access to alternative services available for people with chronic pain, in the absence of medication;
- difficulties in accessing medication; feelings of judgement and stigma;
- decreased quality of life; poorer mental health;
- increased visits to GPs and other health professionals resulting in increased and unwanted costs to consumers; and;
- the need for education and awareness campaigns for consumers and health professionals
As a result of this, we recommend:
- increased support for people living with chronic pain, including the creation of a dedicated helpline to address mental health and provide referrals to alternative pathways and support groups;
- additional funding for new items under the Medicare Benefits Scheme to give greater access to allied health services and group pain management programs;
- continuous and additional education and awareness campaigns to help reduce stigma and provide clear pathways to alternate treatments for consumers and health professionals.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the consumers who took the time to put in a response to our survey. You can read our report here.
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