A University of Florida researcher and his team have developed a new tool to help doctors predict whether their patients are at risk of chronic pain.
UF’s Jason Beneciuk says the screening tool asks a simple question about the patient’s overall health, including their mental health and other symptoms they might be experiencing.
“Physical therapy is a non-pharmacological treatment approach it’s associated with a very low degree of risk and harm, some of the other interventions out there, opioids in particular are associated with a higher level of risk.”
Beneciuk says his team found more than a quarter of patients who had poorer overall health, including depression and anxiety, experienced persistent pain and would benefit from more long-term management instead of opioids.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sales of opioids have quadrupled in the United States, with some states writing prescriptions at a rate three times that of others.