Abstract: Patients with chronic pain and depression are more likely to develop opioid abuse compared to patients without depression. It is not known if this association differs by pain location. We compared the strength of association between depression and opioid misuse in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) vs. chronic pain of other location (CPOL). Chart abstracted data was obtained from 166 patients seeking care in a family medicine clinic. Depression was measured by the PHQ-9 and opioid misuse was measured using the Current Opioid Misuse Measure. Pain severity and interference questions came from the Brief Pain Inventory. Cross-tabulations were computed to measure the association between depression and opioid misuse stratified on pain location. Exploratory logistic regression modeled the association between depression and opioid misuse after adjusting for pain location and pain severity and interference. Depression was significantly associated with opioid misuse in CPOL but not in CLBP. Regression results indicate pain interference partly accounts for the depression–opioid misuse association. These preliminary results from a small patient sample suggest depression may co-occur with opioid misuse more often in CPOL than in CLBP. Further research is needed to compare this comorbidity in specific pain diagnoses such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and CLBP.
Abstract: Chronic low back pain is one of the major health problems in the U.S., resulting in a large number of years of disability. To address the biopsychosocial nature of pain, interdisciplinary pain programs provide integrated interventions by an interdisciplinary team in a unified setting with unified goals. This study examined outcomes of an interdisciplinary program located at two sites with different staff, yet with a unified model of treatment and documentation. Efficacy at the combined sites was examined by comparing standard measures obtained upon admission to the program with measures at completion of a 3–4 week long program for 393 patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP). Repeated measures included pain severity, pain interference, efficacy of self-management strategies, hours of activity, depression, ability to do ADLs, and physical endurance. All repeated measures differed at the p < 0.001 level, with large effect sizes (0.66–0.85). Eighty-two percent of graduates reported being “very much improved” or “much improved”. A second analyses provided evidence that treatment effects were robust across sites with no differences (<0.001) found on five of seven selected outcome measures. A third analysis found that number of days of treatment was correlated on three of seven measures at the <0.01 level. However, the amount of variance explained by days of treatment was under 5% on even the most highly correlated measure. These finding are consistent with previous research and explore short-term effectiveness of treatment across treatment sites and with variable duration of treatment.
Abstract: Smokers who attend NHS Stop Smoking Services (SSS) are four times more likely to stop smoking; however, uptake has been in decline. We report the development of an intervention designed to increase uptake of SSS, from a more motivated self-selected sample of smokers. In Phase 1 we collected data to explore the barriers and facilitators to people using SSS. In Phase 2, data from extant literature and Phase 1 were subject to behavioural analysis, as outlined by the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) framework. Relevant Behaviour Change Techniques (BCTs) were identified in order to address these, informing the content of the StopApp intervention. In Phase 3 we assessed the acceptability of the StopApp. Smokers and ex-smokers identified a number of barriers to attending SSS, including a lack of knowledge about what happens at SSS (Capability); the belief that SSS is not easy to access (Opportunity); that there would be ’scare tactics’ or ‘nagging’; and not knowing anyone who had been and successfully quit (Motivation). The ‘StopApp’ is in development and will link in with the commissioned SSS booking system. Examples of the content and functionality of the app are outlined. The next phase will involve a full trial to test effectiveness.
Abstract: Depression, anxiety and stress in the perinatal period can have serious, long-term consequences for women, their babies and their families. Over the last two decades, an increasing number of group interventions with a psychological approach have been developed to improve the psychological well-being of pregnant women. This systematic review examines interventions targeting women with elevated symptoms of, or at risk of developing, perinatal mental health problems, with the aim of understanding the successful and unsuccessful features of these interventions. We systematically searched online databases to retrieve qualitative and quantitative studies on psychological antenatal group interventions. A total number of 19 papers describing 15 studies were identified; these included interventions based on cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy and mindfulness. Quantitative findings suggested beneficial effects in some studies, particularly for women with high baseline symptoms. However, overall there is insufficient quantitative evidence to make a general recommendation for antenatal group interventions. Qualitative findings suggest that women and their partners experience these interventions positively in terms of psychological wellbeing and providing reassurance of their ‘normality’. This review suggests that there are some benefits to attending group interventions, but further research is required to fully understand their successful and unsuccessful features.
Abstract: Over the last two decades, numerous studies have suggested that dedicated time for parents to be with their children in the earliest months of life offers significant benefits to child health. The United States (US) is the only wealthy nation without a formalized policy guaranteeing workers paid time off when they become new parents. As individual US states consider enacting parental leave policies, there is a significant opportunity to decrease health inequities and build a healthier American population. This document is intended as a critical review of the present evidence for the association between paid parental leave and population health.
Abstract: Beginning in the late 1990s, a movement began within the pain management field focused upon the underutilization of opioids, thought to be a potentially safe and effective class of pain medication. Concern for addiction and misuse were present at the start of this shift within pain medicine, and an emphasis was placed on developing reliable and valid methods and measures of identifying those at risk for opioid misuse. Since that time, the evidence for the safety and effectiveness of chronic opioid therapy (COT) has not been established. Rather, the harmful, dose-dependent deleterious effects have become clearer, including addiction, increased risk of injuries, respiratory depression, opioid induced hyperalgesia, and death. Still, many individuals on low doses of opioids for long periods of time appear to have good pain control and retain social and occupational functioning. Therefore, we propose that the question, “Who is at risk of opioid misuse?” should evolve to, “Who may benefit from COT?” in light of the current evidence.