Painaustralia is pleased to participate in the Steering Group for the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre’s project to improve the response to pain management by Australia’s Primary Health Networks (PHN).
The current model of care for chronic pain is unsustainable and Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have an important role in supporting greater involvement of primary care.
A project currently being conducted by The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, and led by Professor Fiona Blyth, aims to improve PHN’s awareness of the many opportunities to improve the prevention and management of chronic pain.
The research team recently consulted with representatives from 26 PHNs and found that PHNs had poor awareness of chronic pain initiatives implemented by other PHNs..
A resource for PHNs has been developed by the research team and was launched at a recent workshop with PHNs. The resource, map of chronic pain initiatives, aims to provide PHNs with an overview of the types of chronic pain initiatives PHNs are implementing as well as a description of each initiative to help PHNs in their planning.
This new mapping resource shows that chronic pain initiatives are implemented in all states and territories and in a range of metropolitan and regional PHNs. However, there is a need for more initiatives that focus on the prevention of chronic pain, technology-based initiatives to improve consumer access to multidisciplinary and multimodal care (such as telehealth and online consumer pain programs), and face-to-face community-based consumer pain programs. There is also a need for better monitoring and evaluation of initiatives with reports and evaluations made publicly available for PHNs to easily access.
The research team has also developed a comprehensive guide to all online and accessible chronic pain initiatives and resources currently available to primary care in Australia, in a bid to increase awareness and uptake of these initiatives by consumers, health care providers and PHNs. Using this guide to select and implement initiatives that are suitable to their local context, PHNs may be able to improve the prevention and management of chronic pain without the need to develop new programs and resources.
The next phase of the project will focus on providing opportunities for PHNs to come together to discuss chronic pain initiatives and potential innovations and enable better implementation and evaluation of initiatives.