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1.  Buprenorphine for opioid addiction 
Pain management  2012;2(4):345-350.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist of the µ-receptor, and is used as a daily dose sublingual tablet or filmstrip for managing opioid addiction. In the USA, the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 made buprenorphine the only opioid medication for opioid addiction that can be prescribed in an office-based setting. Owing to its high affinity for the µ-receptor, buprenorphine inhibits the reinforcing effect of exogenous opioids. The ceiling effect of buprenorphine's µ-agonist activity reduces the potential for drug overdose and confers low toxicity even at high doses. Buprenorphine pharmacotherapy has proven to be a treatment approach that supports recovery from addiction while reducing or curtailing the use of opioids. This article examines buprenorphine pharmacotherapy for opioid addiction, focusing on the situation in the USA, and is based on a review of pertinent literature, and the authors’ research and clinical experience. The references in this paper were chosen according to the authors’ judgment of quality and relevance, and with respect to their familiarity and involvement in related research.
PMCID: PMC4283787  PMID: 24654720
2.  Self-management of pain among people who inject drugs in Vancouver 
Pain management  2014;4(1):27-35.
To evaluate factors and methods associated with self-management of pain among people who inject drugs (IDUs) in Vancouver (Canada).
Patients & methods
This cross-sectional study used bivariate statistics and multivariate logistic regression to analyze self-reported responses among 483 IDUs reporting moderate-to-extreme pain in two prospective cohort studies from 1 December 2012 to 31 May 2013.
Median age was 49.6 years (interquartile range: 43.9–54.6 years), 33.1% of IDUs were female and 97.5% reported self-management of pain. Variables independently and positively associated with self-managed pain included having been refused a prescription for pain medication (adjusted odds ratio: 7.83; 95% CI: 1.64–37.3) and having ever been homeless (adjusted odds ratio: 3.70; 95% CI: 1.00–13.7). Common methods of self-management of pain included injecting heroin (52.7%) and obtaining diverted prescription pain medication from the street (65.0%).
Self-management of pain was common among IDUs who reported moderate-to-extreme pain in this setting, particularly among those who had been refused a prescription for pain medication and those who had ever been homeless. These data highlight the challenges of adequate pain management among IDUs.
PMCID: PMC3962749  PMID: 24641341
3.  Early repetitive pain in preterm infants in relation to the developing brain 
Pain management  2014;4(1):57-67.
Infants born preterm (<37 weeks of gestation) are particularly vulnerable to procedural stress and pain exposure during neonatal intensive care, at a time of rapid and complex brain development. Concerns regarding effects of neonatal pain on brain development have long been expressed. However, empirical evidence of adverse associations is relatively recent. Thus, many questions remain to be answered. This review discusses the short- and long-term effects of pain-related stress and associated treatments on brain maturation and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children born preterm. The current state of the evidence is presented and future research directions are proposed.
PMCID: PMC3975052  PMID: 24641344
4.  Impact of chronic musculoskeletal pain on objectively measured daily physical activity: a review of current findings 
Pain management  2013;3(6):467-474.
Chronic pain affects a wide range of outcomes that are typically assessed using self-reported methodologies, which are susceptible to recall biases, current mood and pain intensity. Physical activity (PA) is an important component of the pain experience that can be objectively assessed with accelerometers, which are small, lightweight devices that measure the duration, frequency and intensity of PA over time. Accelerometry provides opportunities to compare actual and perceived PA, to design individually customized treatments, to monitor treatment progress, and to evaluate treatment efficacy. Thus, this technology can provide a more refined understanding of the relationships among symptoms, perceptions, mood, environmental circumstances and PA. The current paper examines patterns of PA in chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions and identifies potential clinical applications for accelerometry.
PMCID: PMC4006369  PMID: 24654901
5.  A practical guide and perspectives on the use of experimental pain modalities with children and adolescents 
Pain management  2014;4(2):97-111.
Use of experimental pain is vital for addressing research questions that would otherwise be impossible to examine in the real world. Experimental induction of pain in children is highly scrutinized given the potential for harm and lack of direct benefit to a vulnerable population. However, its use has critically advanced our understanding of the mechanisms, assessment and treatment of pain in both healthy and chronically ill children. This article introduces various experimental pain modalities, including the cold pressor task, the water load symptom provocation test, thermal pain, pressure pain and conditioned pain modulation, and discusses their application for use with children and adolescents. It addresses practical implementation and ethical issues, as well as the advantages and disadvantages offered by each task. The incredible potential for future research is discussed given the array of experimental pain modalities now available to pediatric researchers.
PMCID: PMC4110966  PMID: 24641434
6.  New directions in the treatment of pelvic pain 
Pain management  2013;3(5):387-394.
The treatment of chronic pelvic pain in both females and males is a challenge for pain clinicians. Standard therapies are multimodal in nature with use of behavioral, medical and procedural therapeutics. In recent years, our understanding of the neuro biology of this disorder has improved and novel approaches have focused on neuro modulatory options, novel pharmacology and complementary/alternative medicine options. This review briefly examines newly employed therapeutic options, while restating currently utilized options. The current state-of-the-art treatment includes focal therapies for identified pathologies and empiric trials of other options for care when precise sources of the chronic pelvic pain are ill defined.
PMCID: PMC3979473  PMID: 24654872
8.  Peripheral and central mechanisms of chronic musculoskeletal pain 
Pain management  2013;3(2):103-107.
PMCID: PMC3913277  PMID: 24504260
9.  Psychological evaluation of a primary headache patient 
Pain management  2013;3(1):19-25.
A patient’s experience with headache is influenced, not only by the frequency and pain of the attacks, but also by the patient’s perception of the controllability of the attacks, their willingness to engage in activities despite attacks and their attitude towards the medications used to treat the headaches. Clinicians are often aware of the need to evaluate their patients for the existence of comorbid psychiatric disorders but may be less aware of the importance of these nonpathological beliefs/attitudes that are present to some degree in every headache sufferer. This article gives an overview (by no means exhaustive) of several important psychological constructs, with an emphasis on how these constructs can be assessed in headache patients using freely available paper–pencil questionnaires.
PMCID: PMC3570172  PMID: 23418407
10.  The ripple effect: systems-level interventions to ameliorate pediatric pain 
Pain management  2012;2(6):593-601.
The focus of this brief review is to highlight to the reader some of the ‘ripple effects’ of broader systems-level healthcare issues and the implications they may have for effective treatment of pediatric chronic pain. Many healthcare providers focus almost exclusively on the patient, but lack the knowledge of how to intervene effectively at systems levels with families, schools and healthcare institutions surrounding the pediatric patient with pain. We provide a case example and consider this issue across three systems that are particularly relevant to pediatric pain management: the outpatient pain clinic, school and inpatient settings. The information presented will improve the healthcare provider’s ability to effectively treat pediatric pain through an enhanced understanding of the multiple systems of care that surround children with pain.
PMCID: PMC3609659  PMID: 23544034
11.  The making of a pediatric pain psychologist: education, training and career trajectories 
Pain management  2012;2(5):499-507.
Currently, there are no standard guidelines for the training of pediatric pain psychologists. This article is intended for pediatric pain medicine trainees and faculty in the USA and Canada, and includes discussion of the professional roles and responsibilities of pediatric pain psychologists, a historical perspective on the role of psychologists in the field of pediatric pain medicine, and career trajectories and recommendations for training of pediatric pain psychologists. The primary aim of this commentary is to provide a starting point for the standardization of training of pediatric pain psychologists in the future.
PMCID: PMC3546509  PMID: 23335947
13.  Ethnic differences in pain and pain management 
Pain management  2012;2(3):219-230.
Considerable evidence demonstrates substantial ethnic disparities in the prevalence, treatment, progression and outcomes of pain-related conditions. Elucidating the mechanisms underlying these group differences is of crucial importance in reducing and eliminating disparities in the pain experience. Over recent years, accumulating evidence has identified a variety of processes, from neurophysiological factors to structural elements of the healthcare system, that may contribute to shaping individual differences in pain. For example, the experience of pain differentially activates stress-related physiological responses across various ethnic groups, members of different ethnic groups appear to use differing coping strategies in managing pain complaints, providers’ treatment decisions vary as a function of patient ethnicity and pharmacies in predominantly minority neighborhoods are far less likely to stock potent analgesics. These diverse factors, and others may all play a role in facilitating elevated levels of pain-related suffering among individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds. Here, we present a brief, nonexhaustive review of the recent literature and potential physiological and sociocultural mechanisms underlying these ethnic group disparities in pain outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3654683  PMID: 23687518
14.  The brain in chronic pain: clinical implications 
Pain management  2011;1(6):577-586.
This article examines the present, and potential future, impact of brain imaging on chronic pain. It is argued that novel theories of chronic pain are coming to the fore, specifically through brain imaging of the human brain in chronic pain. Such studies show that the brain reorganizes in relation to chronic pain, in a pattern specific to the type of clinical pain, and that brain networks and receptor targets are being identified and reverse translated to animal studies of their efficacy and mechanisms. Future studies need to integrate across human brain imaging techniques, as well as more intensive reverse translational methods.
PMCID: PMC3226814  PMID: 22140414
15.  Gene Therapy for Pain: A Perspective 
Pain management  2011;1(5):379-381.
PMCID: PMC3313471  PMID: 22461859
16.  Virtual reality and pain management: current trends and future directions 
Pain management  2011;1(2):147-157.
Virtual reality (VR) has been used to manage pain and distress associated with a wide variety of known painful medical procedures. In clinical settings and experimental studies, participants immersed in VR experience reduced levels of pain, general distress/unpleasantness and report a desire to use VR again during painful medical procedures. Investigators hypothesize that VR acts as a nonpharmacologic form of analgesia by exerting an array of emotional affective, emotion-based cognitive and attentional processes on the body’s intricate pain modulation system. While the exact neurobiological mechanisms behind VR’s action remain unclear, investigations are currently underway to examine the complex interplay of cortical activity associated with immersive VR. Recently, new applications, including VR, have been developed to augment evidenced-based interventions, such as hypnosis and biofeedback, for the treatment of chronic pain. This article provides a comprehensive review of the literature, exploring clinical and experimental applications of VR for acute and chronic pain management, focusing specifically on current trends and recent developments. In addition, we propose mechanistic theories highlighting VR distraction and neurobiological explanations, and conclude with new directions in VR research, implications and clinical significance.
PMCID: PMC3138477  PMID: 21779307
17.  Assessing pain in preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit: moving to a ‘brain-oriented’ approach 
Pain management  2011;1(2):171-179.
Preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit undergo repeated exposure to procedural and ongoing pain. Early and long-term changes in pain processing, stress-response systems and development may result from cumulative early pain exposure. So that appropriate treatment can be given, accurate assessment of pain is vital, but is also complex because these infants' responses may differ from those of full-term infants. A variety of uni- and multidimensional assessment tools are available; however, many have incomplete psychometric testing and may not incorporate developmentally important cues. Near-infrared spectroscopy and/or EEG techniques that measure neonatal pain responses at a cortical level offer new opportunities to validate neonatal pain assessment tools.
PMCID: PMC3161414  PMID: 21874145
18.  Pain charts (body maps or manikins) in assessment of the location of pediatric pain 
Pain management  2011;1(1):61-68.
This article surveys the use of pain charts or pain drawings in eliciting information about the location of pain symptoms from children and adolescents. While pain charts are widely used and have been incorporated in multidimensional pediatric pain questionnaires and diaries, they present a number of issues requiring further study. These include, in particular, the number and size of different locations or areas of pain that need to be differentiated; the age at which children are able to complete pain charts unassisted; and whether the intensity and other qualities of pain can be accurately recorded on pain charts by children and adolescents. Based on data currently available, it is suggested that the unassisted use of pain charts be restricted to children aged 8 years or over, while for clinical purposes many younger children can complete pain charts with adult support. Where the investigator’s interest is restricted to a few areas of the body, checklists of body parts may have greater utility than pain charts. A new pain chart adapted for use in studies of pediatric recurrent and chronic pain is presented.
PMCID: PMC3091382  PMID: 21572558

Results 1-18 (18)