Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reducing wait times could improve spinal cord stimulator success for chronic pain

Date:
March 6, 2014
Source:
American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM)
Summary:
Success rates soared to 75% for patients who waited less than 2 years for a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implant, compared with 15% for patients whose implants happened 20 years after the onset of pain, according to a retrospective analysis. The length of time patients waited for a referral also varied by specialty.

Success rates soared to 75% for patients who waited less than 2 years for a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implant, compared with 15% for patients whose implants happened 20 years after the onset of pain, according to a retrospective analysis. The length of time patients waited for a referral also varied by specialty, as shown in a scientific poster presented today at the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

The study authors placed their findings in context by noting that fewer than 50% of patients currently report long-term success with SCS in the treatment of chronic pain. Improving wait times could significantly improve success rates, said lead author Krishna Kumar, MD, of Regina General Hospital in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

"The success of SCS is time sensitive, in that as wait times decline, long-term outcomes with SCS are enhanced," Dr. Kumar said.

Dr. Kumar cited barriers to referral that included lack of uptake and awareness among healthcare providers, patients and payers; ongoing reimbursement concerns; and fragmentation of pain-care delivery. Moreover, Dr. Kumar cited return to employment as a metric that has been unfairly employed to curtail access to SCS, a tactic he said downplays benefits of SCS for quality of life, pain and depression.

The study included 443 patients who received SCS. Beginning with the initial pain diagnosis, investigators examined points of delay to referral for implantation by primary care physicians and specialists. The effects on pain duration of gender, age, referring specialty, and their interactions were analyzed using a 2-way ANOVA. A multiple linear regression model that incorporated patient demographic characteristics and components of wait times was developed to predict factors responsible for delays in SCS implantation.

Patients first saw a physician an average of 3.4 months after developing a pain syndrome. Family physicians managed patients for 11.9 months. Specialists then took over management for an additional 39.8 months on average.

The mean time to implantation from symptom onset was 5.12 years. Neurosurgeons were quickest to make a referral, whereas, non-implanting anesthetists were most likely to delay implantation. In fact, referral for SCS treatment took 2.15 years longer if a non-implanting anesthetist vs. a neurosurgeon referred the patient.

Successful SCS outcomes depend on appropriate candidate selection, and Dr. Kumar highlighted the importance of examining underlying pain pathology to help determine who might benefit. For example, patients suffering from failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, refractory angina pectoris, pain due to peripheral vascular disease, postherpetic neuralgia, chronic migraine or post-surgical neuropathy are considered good candidates for SCS. Red flags Dr. Kumar cited were secondary gain from litigation, persistent uncontrolled or undiagnosed psychiatric disorder, unwillingness to curb inappropriate drug use and cognitive issues that could interfere with operation of SCS equipment.

Education, patient advocacy, basic science and clinical research all could aid the integration of SCS into the pain-management continuum, Dr. Kumar concluded.

"Chronic pain is a disease unto itself, which is responsible for physical and psychosocial suffering. The importance of timely treatment must, therefore, be recognized by all physicians."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM). "Reducing wait times could improve spinal cord stimulator success for chronic pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306211027.htm>.
American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM). (2014, March 6). Reducing wait times could improve spinal cord stimulator success for chronic pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306211027.htm
American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM). "Reducing wait times could improve spinal cord stimulator success for chronic pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306211027.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins