Chronic pain is common in the United States, with approximately 11% of the population reporting daily pain. The use of pain medications has increased dramatically, with the sales of prescription opioids quadrupling from 1999 to 2014. Opioid misuse and abuse rates have also increased, leading to a rise in both opioid overdoses—at least half of which are attributed to prescription medications—and morbidity and mortality. Numerous groups—including the AAFP, other medical societies, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) (formerly the Institute of Medicine), and the U.S. Congress—are emphasizing the need to improve chronic pain care.
This toolkit is designed to help family physicians identify gaps in practice flow, standardize evaluation and treatment of chronic pain patients, and facilitate conversations surrounding pain and treatment goals, as well as identify and mitigate risk. It contains primary care, patient-centered resources that highlight key workflow features in order to streamline delivery and offer best-care medicine.