Minimizing Risk and Improving Outcomes in Chronic Pain

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Release Date: April 03, 2009
Expiration Date: April 03, 2010

Program Overview

Appropriate assessment of the patient experiencing pain is the cornerstone to optimal pain management.

While pain is a highly subjective experience, its management necessitates objective standards of care. Risk assessment of the chronic pain patient on long-term opioid therapy is the cornerstone, however, the quality and utility of any assessment tool is only as good as the clinician’s ability to communicate with the patient. Empathic and objective communication can positively influence both the patient-physician relationship and pain management outcomes.

This program will explore through interviews, data, and case studies the complexities surrounding the management of chronic pain. It will serve to inform clinicians of methods of communication, ways in which risk of abuse may be measured; and how to integrate these strategies into an individualized treatment plan. Finally, clinicians will gain an appreciation for the interdisciplinary approach to pain management, stimulating professional communication and improving patient care outcomes.

Target Audience

This activity is designed for physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other allied health care professionals who have an interest in enhancing their clinical knowledge in the management and assessment of chronic pain patients.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe and understand the necessity of communication techniques and screening tools for the effective management of chronic pain patients
  • Indicate two reasons why risk assessment is necessary and demonstrate their clinical utilization in the effective management of chronic pain patients
  • Identify three screening tools used to assess the risk of abuse, misuse, and addiction of prescribed opioid medications and clinical utilization to potentially protect practices and improve individualized treatment strategy
  • Summarize the importance of effective communication between members of the chronic pain management team to identify and address risk factors in chronic pain patients on long-term opioid therapy


Assessment and Communication Tools and Techniques Designed to Guide Your Treatment − Micke A. Brown, BSN, RN
Moment of Truth: Tools and Techniques Needed to Manage the Patient with Chronic Pain − Steven D. Passik, PhD
Communication and Risk Strategies for Individualized Treatment Plans − Lynn R. Webster, MD, FACPM, FASAM

General Information

This activity is eligible for credit through April 3, 2010. After this date, this activity will expire and no further credit will be awarded.

Expected time to complete this activity as designed: 60 minutes

There are no fees for participating in this activity. All participants must complete the Activity Evaluation Form. Participants must receive a minimum score of 70% on the self-assessment to qualify for CE credit. Certificates may be printed immediately after successfully completing the online self-assessment and evaluation.

Faculty Biography

Micke A. Brown, BSN, RN
Director of Communications
American Pain Foundation
Baltimore, Maryland

Micke Brown received her bachelor of science in degree in nursing from the University of Florida, Gainesville, along with advanced credentials in acute pain management from Schumpert Medical Center, Shreveport, Louisiana. As the Communications Director for the American Pain Foundation (APF), a national nonprofit organization serving people affected by pain through education, support, and advocacy, Ms. Brown’s role is to develop and guide communications services that includes policy, media and public awareness programming for APF.

Ms. Brown has more than 30 years experience in nursing, with 15 years in the specialty of pain management. Her work as a pain management nurse and pain advocate has focused on caring for patients with pain, and providing health care professionals with pain management training. In addition to clinical practice, Ms. Brown has extensive experience in establishing hospital-based pain programs, health care professional training, performance improvement projects, and has addressed issues that surround untreated pain, including ethical challenges, end-of-life care, cultural disparities, and care of special populations. Ms. Brown has served on the Board of Directors of both the Maryland Pain Initiative (MPI) and the Hospice of Washington County (Maryland), and is past president of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN), a professional organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of optimal nursing care for people affected by pain.

Steven D. Passik, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology
Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Associate Attending Psychologist
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York

Dr. Steven Passik received his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the New School for Social Research in New York City, and was chief fellow in the psychiatry service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is currently an associate attending psychologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and a clinical psychologist at the Rockefeller University Hospital, as well as an associate professor of psychology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, all of which are located in New York City.

Dr. Passik was a faculty scholar for the SOROS Foundation’s Project on Death in America. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, and has been a reviewer for the Journal of Pharmaceutical Care in Pain and Symptom Control, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Psycho-Oncology, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Cancer Pain Guidelines, Cancer Investigation, and Oncology. Dr. Passik has served as the president of the Indiana Cancer and AIDS Pain Initiative, and as editor in chief of the National Cancer Institute’s PDQ Supportive Care Editorial Board. He is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and abstracts.

Dr. Passik was recently named a Fellow of DIV 28 of APA (Psychopharmacology & Substance Abuse), awarded a MayDay Fund Pain & Society Fellowship, given the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine 2007 Visiting Professor Award, the 2007 American Psycho-Oncology Excellence in Clinical Care Award, and received the Elizabeth Narcessian Award for Outstanding Educational Achievements.

Lynn R. Webster, MD, FACPM, FASAM
Co-founder and Medical Director
Lifetree Clinical Research
Salt Lake City, Utah
Dr. Lynn Webster is board certified in anesthesiology, pain medicine and is also certified in addiction medicine. In his private practice, he treats chronic pain patients, many of whom have complex diagnoses. He also detoxes opioid-addicted patients. This dual role lends Dr. Webster a valuable perspective. He is dedicated to treating patients in pain while simultaneously working to minimize the potential for abuse and addiction.

Dr. Webster is co-founder and medical director of Lifetree Clinical Research. His research interests are diverse. He has been keenly interested in developing safer and more effective therapies for chronic pain and addiction.

Dr. Webster earned his doctorate of medicine from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed his residency in the University of Utah Medical Center’s Department of Anesthesiology. He lectures extensively on the subject of preventing opioid abuse and criminal diversion in chronic pain patients, and he has authored over 100 scientific abstracts, journal articles, and the recently published book Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain: A Guide for Practitioners. This book was written for clinicians who prescribe opioids as a guide to sort out the clinical, regulatory, and ethical issues associated with the prescribing of opioid analgesics. It includes step-by-step protocols for assessing patients for the risk of opioid abuse as well as for legally protecting the opioid prescriber.

He is the co-founder of LifeSource, a non-profit foundation established in 2006 to educate physicians, patients, and communities on health issues (with an emphasis on pain-related, scientific and social issues), as well as fund and conduct research that will discover new solutions and hope for improved life. LifeSource’s first project is entitled “Zero Unintentional Deaths.” The campaign was developed to educate physicians, chronic pain sufferers and all communities about the increasingly serious issue of unintentional overdose deaths relating to methadone and other prescription medications. It aims to eliminate unintentional overdoses from prescription medication.

Dr. Webster is currently on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Pain Medicine and the National Pain Foundation. He was also instrumental in launching the Utah chapter of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. This organization seeks to achieve high medical standards, improve access to pain care and educate all interested parties about the many pain-related scientific and social issues.


MediCom LogoAccreditation Statement: MediCom Worldwide, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Designation Statement: MediCom Worldwide, Inc. designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ACPE LogoMediCom Worldwide, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This activity is acceptable for 1.0 contact hour of Continuing Education Credit. Universal Activity Number: 827-000-09-229-H01-P Knowledge-based CPE activity.

MediCom LogoAccreditation Statement: MediCom Worldwide, Inc., 101 Washington Street, Morrisville, PA 19067 is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP11380. MediCom designates this CNE activity for 1.0 contact hour. Program Number: 09-229-222


In accordance with the ACCME, ACPE and California Board of Nursing, MediCom Worldwide, Inc. requires that all program planners, faculty, and providers who are in a position to control the content of a CE activity are required to disclose any relevant financial relationships they may have or have had within the last 12 months with the commercial supporter or the manufacturer(s) of any commercial device(s) discussed in this educational activity. Accordingly the following disclosures were made.

Faculty Disclosure

The presenting faculty reported the following:

Micke Brown has disclosed that she has no relevant financial relationships.

Dr. Steven Passik has received honoraria related to speakers' bureau activities and as a consultant from Cephalon, Inc., Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Eli Lilly and Company, PriCara®, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He has received grant support related to research activities from Cephalon and Ligand.

Dr. Lynn Webster has received honoraria related to formal advisory activities from Alpharma Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ameritox, Ltd., Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Nektar Therapeutics, Nervo, Neuromed Pharmaceuticals Inc, Purdue Pharma L.P. and QRxPharma Ltd. He has received honoraria as a consultant from Advanced Bionics Corporation, Cephalon, Inc., Covidien AG, Elan Corporation, plc, Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Medtronic, Inc., MEDACorp and ZARS Pharma. He has received grant support related to research activities from Abbott Laboratories, Advanced Bionics Corporation, Alpharma, Ameritox, Array BioPharma Inc., AstraZeneca PLC, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cervelo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., CoMentis, Inc., DURECT Corporation, Elan, Elite, Forest Laboratories, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc., King, Medtronic, Merck & Co., Inc., Nektar, NeurogesX, Pain Therapeutics, Inc., Purdue, QRxPharma Ltd., Respironics, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., TorreyPines Therapeutics, Wyeth and ZARS Pharma.

Planner and Provider Financial Disclosures

The individuals listed below from MediCom Worldwide, Inc. reported the following for this activity: Joan Meyer, executive director, Bronwyn Boyes, director and Alan Vogenberg, RPh, FASCP, clinical reviewer, have nothing to disclose.

Conflict of Interest Resolution

To resolve identified conflicts of interest, the educational content was fully peer reviewed by members of the MediCom Content Review Committee. The resulting certified activity was found to provide educational content that is current, evidence-based, and commercially balanced.

Off-Label/Investigational Disclosures

In accordance with MediCom Worldwide, Inc. policy, the audience is advised of the following disclosures regarding unlabeled or unapproved uses of drugs or devices:
Ms. Brown, Dr. Passik and Dr. Webster indicated that their presentations would not include the discussion of unlabeled uses of commercial products or investigational products not yet approved by the FDA for any use in the United States.

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Provided by MediCom Worldwide, Inc.

This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from
Cephalon Logo

©2009 MediCom Worldwide, Inc., 101 Washington St., Morrisville, PA 19067, 800-408-4242.
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