The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre has received funding for an important pain project, which aims to improve pain management in primary care to prevent progression of chronic pain to a level that interferes with life and to reduce demand for opioids or intensive pain management services.
Led by Professors Fiona Blyth and Andrew Wilson from the University of Sydney, the project will develop a set of evidence-based principles to assess proposed models. Using these principles, models of intervention will be identified that are demonstrated to work, or have potential to work, in the Australian primary care environment. Resource requirements for the different models will be identified.
This information will then be used to develop a tool applicable to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to assess current local capacity for prevention and early intervention and to assess the local relevance of different models. It will also assist in identification of gaps in current service capacity including pathways to specialist care. The tool will be developed in association with, and piloted in, at least one PHN.
A small, time-limited Reference Group involving Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett and Board member Dr Malcolm Hogg, lead clinicians, consumers, PHN and LHN representatives and key researchers in the field will provide feedback across the course of the project.
Outputs of the project will be:
a set of evidence-informed strategies for preventing or reducing risk of chronic pain with estimation of likely impact relative to resources;
a set of evidence-informed consensus principles for selecting interventions for Australian settings;
a tool for capacity assessment and model(s) selection for use at PHN level;
a report on field testing of the tool; and
an options paper on implementing and scaling up of models for chronic pain.