AAHPM: Opioid Guideline for Non-Cancer Pain to Be Released

Committee report emphasizes that narcotics are an indispensable yet problematic control strategy

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new evidence-based guideline will clarify the use of chronic opioid therapy in non-cancer pain, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in collaboration with the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association in Tampa Bay, Fla.

Perry G. Fine, M.D., of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, presented findings of the guideline committee established by the American Pain Society and American Academy of Pain Medicine with support from the Oregon Health Sciences Center for Evidence-Based Practice. He served as a co-chair of the committee.

Fine reported that four of seven steps have been completed: creating a balanced interdisciplinary committee, drafting significant questions concerning the literature search, selecting a grading system to score the literature, and completing a literature review and grading the evidence. He also reported that the draft guideline should be completed early this year.

"Pain management is a foundational element of palliative care, and opioids are indispensible but potentially problematic 'tools' in chronic pain therapy," Fine concludes. "A methodologically well-constructed guideline will be an important step in improving care."

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