Painaustralia is Australia’s leading pain advocacy body working to improve the quality of life of people living with pain, their families and carers, and to minimise the social and economic burden of pain on individuals and the community.
The healthgovau has released a COVID-19 video featuring Alison McMillan, Australia’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, who demonstrates how to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for allied health professionals. https://buff.ly/2TCWgXU
The RACGP is urging people to avoid new telehealth "pop up" businesses and instead consult with their usual GP. COVID-19 has seen a surge in telehealth services that rely on quick patient turnover. Continuity of care with your usual GP is more important now more than ever.
Links are emerging between COVID-19 and patients with chronic pain, and immune conditions such as IBD, MS, and psoriasis. Preliminary clinical treatment recommendations for both stable and infected patients are reviewed in this article from PracticalPainhttps://buff.ly/2yDHDwo
Painaustralia welcomes the creation of deputy CMO for mental health @healthgovau and the appointment of Ruth Vine to this important role. Big mandate ahead and its great to see that the mental health aspects of COVID-19 will be seriously consideredhttps://buff.ly/2Lpwl1i
This pandemic highlights the importance of innovation and trying to provide services in new and more accessible ways to ensure people can still access mental health supports and services how and when they need them during these difficult times." https://buff.ly/3cZVXh9
Dramatic falls in the uptake of health care services have fuelled concerns that patients are delaying tests and treatments for fear of COVID-19 infection or facing an overwhelmed health system MJAInsight https://buff.ly/35ybdzl
“The long term harms, including increased social and health inequality, may well dwarf the death toll of covid-19 itself.” Trust is crucial in lockdown—and beyond bmj_latesthttps://buff.ly/2Wi2pJB
'I just spent my entire stimulus payment on a ketamine treatment at a private hospital for chronic pain because the public hospital I get it done at cancelled all elective admissions': life gets harder for vulnerable Australians during coronavirus crisis https://buff.ly/2zpzXO2
You may have seen information on hydroxychloroquine in the media over the last few days. Our position hasn't changed. Currently, there is no evidence to support the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. https://bit.ly/npshydrox
As we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, many hospitals and health services are actually less busy than usual: Managing chronic conditions in the time of coronavirus insightSBShttps://buff.ly/2VL8rTV
Coronavirus has created a crisis for primary care doctors and their patients: How the COVID-19 is making health care access problems even worse. Important lessons for everyone as we all come to terms with the full scale of the fallout from the pandemic https://buff.ly/3eRy3Gt
As case numbers of COVID-19 continue to rise around the world, an increasing number of reports of neurological symptoms are emerging. Some studies report that over a third of patients show neurological symptoms. https://buff.ly/2KCAZZw
The Aged Care Royal Commission is calling for submissions from the general public and organisations relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the aged care sector. If your pain management needs in aged care have been impacted by the pandemic please contact us. https://buff.ly/2yOIQAu
Immunosuppressants and Coronavirus: Here is What You Should Know Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians are advising patients to stay on their immunosuppressant medications. Here’s why. https://buff.ly/2VOnR8Z
Chronic Pain and Social Despair–Doctors Need to Listen. "similar to our lack of system readiness for COVID19 our complicated and costly healthcare system is not only unprepared to deal with the epidemic of stress in society, it contributes to the problem."https://buff.ly/2ziI52X
Should a doctor prescribe hydroxychloroquine for family and friends to treat COVID-19? According to an editorial published today by NPSMedicineWise the answer should be 'no', from medical, ethical and possibly even legal perspectives. https://buff.ly/3eI1KcU
National Cabinet has released the Management and Operational Plan for COVID-19 for People with Disability which forms part of the national response developed by the Govt for COVID-19 https://buff.ly/3ckrcDg
New research, published by International Association for the Study of Pain provides guidance for those attempting to rapidly transition to remote care with technology, and discusses the lessons for the future of the pain treatment https://buff.ly/2VygzWA
Hydroxychloroquine: The drug that many pain patients need and why it’s so important that access continues https://buff.ly/34wtUCO
"There is an urgent need for research to address how mental health consequences for vulnerable groups can be mitigated under pandemic conditions, and on the impact of repeated media consumption and health messaging around COVID-19" The Lancethttps://buff.ly/3cneDHq
“This initial assessment shows that the risks, in particular cardiovascular, associated with these treatments are very present and potentially increased in COVID-19 patients. Almost all of the declarations come from health establishments,” https://buff.ly/2y7x5oi.
Dr Nick Coatsworth and Prof Michael Kidd, Deputy Chief Medical Officers provide a COVID-19 response update for Allied Health Practitioners https://buff.ly/2JQPmsR
American Society of Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine has joined multiple American Societies in Endorsing COVID-19 Chronic Pain Best Practice Guidelines https://buff.ly/39SZFaj
“The chronic use of high dose of opioids is associated with side effects which may increase disease severity of COVID-19. This link is purely speculative, as we were unable to find any published data looking specifically at associations” Dr Andrew Huang provides a rapid response in the BMJ to the risk factors for Opioid use and disease severity of COVID-19 https://buff.ly/3dYCAGB
Interim arrangements for prescriptions for supply of medicines: Helping you get your medicine if you are confined to your home https://buff.ly/2xUeIU2
Australian Government Department of Health - COVID-19 infection control training
This 30-minute online training module is for health care workers in all settings. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19.
The RACGP has welcomed moves to allow GPs to send electronic prescriptions. Under the arrangements, patients can get a prescription from their GP directly sent to their pharmacy of choice via email or phone and their medication can be delivered to their door https://www.medianet.com.au/releases/186099/
The TGA warns consumers to be cautious when seeking to purchase products claiming to be home self-tests for COVID-19, either online or through other means. COVID-19 tests are designed to be used under the direction of a health professional. https://www.tga.gov.au/…/warning-consumers-and-advertisers-…
Can coronavirus spread through food? Can anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen make it worse? Coronavirus claims checked by experts https://buff.ly/2yarnSH
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New AIHW report reveals escalating health impact of chronic pain
07 MAY 2020
The release today of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report ‘Chronic Pain in Australia’ reinforces the spiraling health, social and economic costs of chronic pain in Australia.
Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett said, “this new data once again shines a light on the growing impact of chronic pain which has resulted in a 67% increase in GP visits in a decade and those living with the condition 5 times as likely to be limited in daily activities.”
The AIHW report finds that 1 in 5 Australians aged 45 and over are living with persistent, ongoing pain, with many facing considerably poor health outcomes. Compared with people without chronic pain, those with chronic pain were 2.6 times as likely to have arthritis, 2.5 times as likely to have mental health problems, 2.5 times as likely to have osteoporosis and 2.4 times as likely to have other long-term health conditions or a long-term injury.
“Australia is facing a pain epidemic. The AIHW report reiterated our findings that pain costs our country a staggering $140 billion dollar every year, yet people living with chronic pain struggle with limited access to treatment and support options resulting n doctors and consumers continuing to rely heavily on prescription opioids to manage what is a multi-faceted, complex condition that needs more sophisticated responses,” Ms. Bennett said.
Despite well-established evidence around the harms, people with chronic pain continue to be primarily sent down the pharmacological intervention path, with more than half (57%) dispensed analgesics, compared with 1 in 5 (21%) people without chronic pain. Alarmingly, people with chronic pain are almost 3 times as likely to be dispensed opioids and other analgesics and migraine medication as those without pain.
“The last few years have seen multiple attempts to reduce opioid related harm, but clearly more needs to be done. We need better awareness among consumers and doctors about pain management treatment options – and we need to ensure those options exist. Where pain medication is prescribed, people living with pain will also benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to their care, such as a physiotherapist, psychologist, occupational therapist or other allied health services” Ms. Bennett said.
Concerningly the AIHW report finds that hospitalisations involving chronic pain involved more procedures: 22% had 5 or more procedures, compared with 8.9% for other hospitalisations. More than half of hospital procedures are for allied health.
“Clearly there are significant barriers for most people to access best practice, multidisciplinary care right now; one is the cost and the other is geographical location with allied health access scarce in regional areas. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that people living with chronic pain do not continue to fall through the cracks of our systems. We need to act fast, and we need to act now,” Ms. Bennett said.
“The Morrison Ministry was the first in the world to fund the development of a National Strategic ActionPlan for Pain Management, currently being considered by the Council of Australian Governments. We must take this crucial step forward towards ensuring that Australia leads the world in implementing best practice strategies to tackle chronic pain, a step that we cannot take soon enough,” Ms. Bennett said.