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    The Importance of Patient-Centeredness in Opioid Prescribing and Tapering: EMPOWER

    A common perception about prescription opioids is that less is better. Health risks exist with prescription opioids. While true, for people taking daily prescription opioids long term, reducing their opioid doses is equally fraught with health risks. Thus, in the rush to help patients take less medication we’ve seen some tragic consequences emerge including deaths. In the past few years a burgeoning literature has described the risks associated with opioid dose changes, particularly rapid dose changes [...]

    By |2021-02-27T17:38:26-08:00February 27th, 2021|

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

    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. [...]

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

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

    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 [...]

    By |2021-03-16T12:08:53-07:00April 2nd, 2019|

    “Reducing the Global Burden of Pain” by Beth Darnall

    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 [...]

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

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

    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 [...]

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

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

    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 [...]

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

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

    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 [...]

    By |2020-01-18T13:16:28-08:00October 22nd, 2018|

    Scientific American: The science of pain relief mindset interventions I was pleased to be invited by Scientific American to post a blog describing our work on targeted mindset interventions for pain relief and opioid reduction. This work holds promises for dismantling common barriers to pain psychology treatment in outpatients and surgical settings because the interventions are brief, low-cost, and some are even online! Read the blog post here.

    By |2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00April 10th, 2018|

    Our new JAMA study on opioid tapering challenges assumptions, holds promise for patients

    Chronic pain affects up to one-third of the world population. We recognize that an individual approach to treating pain is needed and that for some patients, prescription opioids are necessary. However, the overemphasis on treating chronic pain with opioids has been associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. With 6.8% of the U.S. population now taking long-term opioids, there is an urgent need to reduce opioids and patient risks and to treat pain better. In my team’s [...]

    By |2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00February 19th, 2018|

    Changing Mindset for Pain Relief

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is evidence-based medicine for reducing the detrimental effects of negative mindset in the context of pain. Transforming negative mindset is shown to reduce pain and improve pain treatment outcomes. The best part is that psychological treatment is non-pharmacological and very low risk. In fact, treating negative mindset in the context of pain can help pain medications work better – which may lead to fewer pills. Click here to read Beth Darnall’s full story [...]

    By |2019-04-02T15:18:27-07:00May 23rd, 2017|
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