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New guidance on pain conditions

Wednesday May 16th, 2018

Education is critical in pain management in inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis, according to new European guidance.

Published by the European League Against Rheumatism on Monday (14 May), the guidance is aimed at health professionals in rheumatology. It emphasises the importance of education in pain management.

The recommendations come from leading scientific sources in rheumatology and are intended to have an impact on patient care across Europe. The authors explain: "Pain is the predominant symptom for people with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis, mandating the development of new, evidence-based recommendations."

They point out that timely and knowledgeable pain management support can reduce pain, increase functioning and wellbeing, and reduce the cost to the individual and society. "Rheumatology health professionals are ideally placed to provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and patient-centred care," they state.

Pain management education should be tailored to the needs of the patient, and complemented by physical activity and exercise. The patient should also be offered aids and assistive devices, psychological and social interventions, sleep hygiene education, weight management, and drug and joint-specific treatment options, they believe.

During the development of the guidelines, a multidisciplinary task force carried out a systematic review of the literature, examining the benefit of multiple treatment modalities on pain. The task force had 18 members from 12 countries, including patient representatives.

They reviewed 186 suitable studies and concluded that health professional need to "adopt a patient-centred framework within a biopsychosocial perspective, to have sufficient knowledge of inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis pathogenesis, and to be able to differentiate localised and generalised pain."

Factors deemed important in the assessment of pain included patient needs, preferences and priorities; pain characteristics; previous and ongoing pain treatments; inflammation and joint damage; and psychological and other pain-related factors.

https://www.eular.org/recommendations_home.cfm

Tags: Europe | Pain Relief | Rheumatology

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