Clinical Care Practice
70th AHCA/NCAL Convention and Expo
The opioid epidemic is no secret in America. Media is bombarding us from public and professional sectors about the impact opioids have on the American worker, workforce, families and the impact to the healthcare system. According to a 2016 Center for Disease Control (CDC) published report, 20% of patients presenting to MDs for noncancer pain or pain related symptoms are prescribed an opioid.1 The Institute of Medicine in its publication Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research reports “Inadequately treated pain is more common in vulnerable populations—including the elderly, children, racial and ethnic minorities, and others—that are a traditional concern of public health agencies and programs.”2 The graying of America comes with its own challenges as we deal with appropriate balance between quality of life, increased complexities and co-morbidities, patients right to choose and available evidence supporting optimal pain management. Evidence and current practice guidelines support an engaged, trans-disciplinary approach to effective pain management. Our session will focus on the prevalence of pain in the elderly, the management of acute and chronic pain through pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions and a review of current evidence for treatment guidelines. We will highlight how effective trans-disciplinary teams with collaboration between medical, nursing and rehab teams can provide enhanced quality of life, optimal function and reduce dependency on opioids.