November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

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Collaborative models for pain management offer benefits to older adults


2 minutes

Kelli Allen, PhD
Kelli Allen, PhD

Experts in multidisciplinary approaches for pain management will make the case for a biopsychosocial model when treating older patients at a combined ACR/ARHP clinical practice session on Sunday.

The session, Interdisciplinary Management of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in Older Adults, will take place from 2:30 – 4:00 pm in Room W375b.

The session will not only explore evidence-based models for collaborative pain management, but also discuss the importance of a multidisciplinary team, including primary care providers, subspecialists, clinical psychologists, physical therapists, and pharmacists.

Kelli Allen, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Co-director of Methodology Core for the Multi-disciplinary Clinical Research Center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, said this session is focused on older adults with rheumatologic and musculoskeletal conditions, many of whom have comorbid health conditions, functional limitations, or both.

Dr. Allen will review the current data supporting the use of biopsychosocial behavioral approaches in her lecture, “Evidence-Based Models to Deliver Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Management.”

“Providing high-quality care to older patients requires a multidisciplinary care team and a comprehensive approach,” said Dr. Allen, who is also a Research Health Scientist at Durham VA Medical Center. “I plan to describe different evidence-based models that have been developed and tested—in various health care settings—for treating older adults with chronic musculoskeletal conditions. I will describe each of the models, the contexts in which they have been tested, and potential applications across different rheumatologic and musculoskeletal conditions.”

As part of the discussion, she will examine the potential benefits and barriers to the integration of interdisciplinary models in practice and will offer a practical comparison of two models for pain management: stepped care and collaborative care.

She will also review areas where research is needed for both clinical practice and research purposes to integrate and implement interdisciplinary models that promote nonpharmacological management of chronic musculoskeletal pain in older adults.

“I hope attendees come away feeling confident they have the practical knowledge to put together a multidisciplinary pain management team and put it into practice,” Dr. Allen said.

The session will also include a lecture by Una E. Makris, MD, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. Dr. Makris will present “Managing Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Need for Interdisciplinary, Behavioral Interventions.”

As part of her lecture, Dr. Makris will review age-specific challenges in pain management and why a biopsychosocial approach is ideal. She will discuss the importance of behavioral interventions, including examples of innovative techniques designed for older adults with musculoskeletal pain and comorbid depression.