Upcoming SOTA conference on pain management
VA will hold a SOTA conference in November 2016 on non-opioid alternative approaches to managing pain. (Opioids are a type of narcotic pain medication used to treat moderate to severe pain that may not respond well to other pain medications.)
The conference will focus on four types of pain interventions, including:
- complementary and integrative health (CIH);
- cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychological approaches;
- rehabilitation, including structured exercise and spinal manipulation; and
- non-opioid pharmacotherapy.
In April, VA is holding a planning meeting for the conference, to synthesize existing evidence on CIH alternatives to relieve musculoskeletal pain, and to examine published evidence on the effectiveness of CIH to reduce opiate use in managing this kind of pain. Planners will also identify questions to be discussed at the November conference.
Co-chairs of the conference include Dr. Stephen Ezeji-Okoye, of VA's Integrative Health Program; Dr. Rollin Gallagher, VA's national director for pain management; Michael Valentino, VA's chief consultant for pharmacy benefits management; and Dr. Robert Kerns, a researcher with VA's HSR&D Pain Research Center of Innovation. (See our interview with Kerns in "A chat with our experts.")