Empowered Relief: Expanding Rapid Access to Low-Cost, Evidence-Based Pain Care

2019-09-22T20:34:34-07:00July 3rd, 2019|

Greetings All, As you know, poor access to comprehensive pain care remains a major problem worldwide. To help address this problem, at Stanford University, I developed a 2-hour skills-based pain treatment class that rapidly equips people to self-manage pain and symptoms. It’s called “Empowered Relief™”. Empowered Relief™ is unique and transformative pain treatment because it: Requires only ONE in-person, 2-hour class Is skills-based and evidence-based 100 people can be treated in a single class (you are only [...]

NPR ‘Morning Edition’ show on the brain, emotion, and pain

2019-05-20T22:16:44-07:00May 20th, 2019|

Today National Public Radio featured pain psychology on its "Morning Edition" show. I was pleased to be included among the guests discussing the critical role of thoughts, emotions, and other psychological factors have on our experience of pain. The role of psychology in the experience and treatment of pain in no way diminishes one’s physiological and medical diagnoses or causes for pain. Behavioral treatments offer opportunities to gain control over some of the experience of pain. [...]

Digital Health Intervention Associated with Less Need for Opioids After Surgery

2019-05-23T16:52:33-07:00May 14th, 2019|

Results from our newly published randomized controlled study show that patients who engaged with “My Surgical Success,” a fully automated online pain treatment program, stopped opioids sooner after breast cancer surgery than patients assigned to a control intervention. The study was published in Pain Medicine (Darnall et al, 2019). This finding is important because it suggests that a low-cost, scalable, digital treatment may help patients effectively self-manage symptoms and enhance recovery after surgery. Our study is [...]

My Op-Ed in “The Hill”: CDC Issues Clarification; Organizations and Policymakers Called on to Align with Federal Guidance

2019-04-28T18:50:12-07:00April 28th, 2019|

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published in the New England Journal of Medicine a long-awaited statement opposing the misapplication of the 2016 opioid prescribing guideline for chronic pain. The CDC clarification is an important step in acknowledging the harms to patients caused from rigid opioid policies that failed to account for individual differences in the experience and treatment of pain and calls for the implementation of best practices in opioid prescribing and de-prescribing. [...]

Advancing Access to Pain Care in America and Beyond: Psychology in the Forefront

2019-04-02T15:18:24-07:00April 2nd, 2019|

It has been a busy few months and now I have some great news to share with you! First, let's rewind to the 2016 publication of the National Pain Strategy. That document supported better integration of psychological and behavioral medicine strategies into all levels of pain care in America. And yet, three years later, there has been no clear implementation plan for how to do so. There remains a massive need to uptrain the psychologist and [...]

“Reducing the Global Burden of Pain” by Beth Darnall

2019-04-02T15:18:24-07:00March 25th, 2019|

In May 2018, I was honored to be an invited speaker at the Global Solutions Summit in Berlin, Germany. This is an international conference hosted by the Global Solutions Initiative, a think tank organization that is paving the future with innovative solutions to the world's pressing problems (see video above for my media comments). The March 2019 Global Solutions Journal is hot off the press and I am pleased to have published an invited contribution in [...]

International Stakeholder Community of Pain Experts and Leaders Call for an Urgent Action on Forced Opioid Tapering

2019-04-02T15:18:24-07:00December 15th, 2018|

This week we published in Pain Medicine a letter opposing community-based forced prescription opioid tapering in patients taking long-term prescription opioids. The letter expresses deep concern over a lack of patient protections and evidence to support reductive policies that center on forced opioid tapering, particularly rapidly and to extremely low doses. Indeed, across the U.S. and in other countries, certain prescription policies have moved ahead of the science. Opioid prescribing limitations are being enacted without having clear evidence for [...]

My Op-Ed in “The Hill” – A Case for Patient-Centered for Pain Research and Treatment

2019-04-02T15:18:25-07:00November 7th, 2018|

Healthcare remains a top priority and hotly contested political issue for Americans. Foremost among health concerns are pain treatment, opioids, and access to care. In the run-up to the mid-term elections, The Hill published my Op-Ed on the importance of patient-centered in research, treatment and healthcare policy. A soundbite: “We risk repeating past mistakes by applying a one-size-fits-all regulatory ‘solution’ that fails to address the specific needs of the individual and treat their pain.” Read my [...]

National Spotlight: Congressional Briefing, and Advocacy for Patient-Centered Research and Pain Care

2019-04-02T15:18:25-07:00October 22nd, 2018|

Earlier this month I was honored to be an invited speaker at a Washington D.C. Congressional Briefing focused on the “Opioid Recovery Act of 2018.” The open session drew key stakeholders from varied backgrounds. I used my time to describe how my PCORI-funded research project is an important part of the solution. Latest data suggests that almost 18 million Americans are taking long-term prescription opioids. Currently, there is no good evidence for how to best reduce long-term prescription [...]

My “Nature” Editorial – What’s Needed in Pain Research and Care

2019-04-02T15:18:25-07:00May 5th, 2018|

I was pleased to be invited by Nature to give my thoughts on what is needed in pain research and care ("To treat pain, study people in all their complexity"). Too often, the person is forgotten while the symptom is treated. Our systems must account for the individual variability in the experience and treatment of pain, and to address the unique needs of each person. Psychology is fundamental to the experience of pain, regardless of the [...]