Medical News and Perspectives
August 17, 2011

Cultural Transformation Needed to Solve Public Health Problem of Chronic Pain

JAMA. 2011;306(7):692-693. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1158

Yesterday I was lucky; the pain was kind and waited until after I got back home before showing its true colors . . . black and blue. No one sees the colors upon my skin. My pain is internal. It is physical. It is mental.”

This account, from a man describing the ravages of chronic pain on his life, was one of more than 2000 testimonies received by the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education from individuals with chronic pain and the clinicians attempting to treat them. The pleas of so many “lent a sense of urgency” to the committee's call for a “cultural transformation” in how the nation understands and approaches pain management in its report issued in June.

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