April 2015 Briefing - Pain Management

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pain Management for April 2015. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Cognitive Therapy for Insomnia Reduces Pain in Knee OA

THURSDAY, April 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and insomnia, cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is efficacious and deceases clinical pain, according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Hydroxyurea Underutilized for Patients With Sickle Cell

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Less than one-quarter of sickle cell anemia (SCA) patients who should have been taking hydroxyurea within a year of their last pain crisis actually were taking the medication, according to research from a national database. These findings were published in a research letter in the April 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Buprenorphine Given in ER Benefits Opioid Dependent

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A comparison of three treatments for opioid dependence indicates that patients given buprenorphine in the emergency department do better than those given only referrals. The research was published in the April 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Physician Compensation Up for Most Specialties

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physician compensation has gone up for almost all specialties, according to a 2015 report published by Medscape.

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CDC: Surveillance System Can Help Reduce Health Care Injuries

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A surveillance system for health care facilities can be used to identify and help reduce the number of preventable injuries among health care personnel, according to research published in the April 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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National Health Alert Issued Over HIV Outbreak in Indiana

FRIDAY, April 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- With opioid abuse now linked to 142 cases of HIV in rural Indiana, U.S. health officials are alerting other states to watch for clusters of HIV and hepatitis C among injection drug users.

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EHR Data Mining Helps With Quality Improvement

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health records (EHRs) are a valuable source of data that can be mined to help practices with quality improvement performance, according to a study published in Medical Economics.

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EHR Decision Support Ups Radiologic Test Appropriateness

TUESDAY, April 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Computerized clinical decision-support (CCDS) capabilities of electronic health records may improve appropriate use of diagnostic radiologic test ordering and reduce test use, according to a review published in the April 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Changing Opioid Rx Formulations May Help Curb Abuse

TUESDAY, April 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Opioids that have features that make them hard to abuse may be linked to a drop in both the number of prescriptions and overdoses of these drugs, according to a new study published online April 20 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Guidance Offered for Managing Conflict With Patients

MONDAY, April 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Good communication is key to managing conflict with patients, according to an article published April 1 in Medical Economics.

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Attending Physicians, Residents Similar in Opioid Rx Monitoring

MONDAY, April 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Both residents and attending physicians are only partly compliant with national opioid prescribing and monitoring guidelines, according to a study published in the March issue of Pain Medicine.

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Suboptimal Prescribing Attitudes Could Signal Personal Distress

FRIDAY, April 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students in personal distress may be more likely to have suboptimal attitudes about self-prescribing and personal responsibility for reporting impaired colleagues, according to a study published in the April issue of Academic Medicine.

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Medicare Spending Down in Year One of Pioneer ACO

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare spending is down in year one of the Pioneer accountable care organization (ACO) program, according to a study published online April 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Ethical Implications for Looking Up Applicants on Facebook

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Looking up students on Facebook and other social networking sites (SNS) is associated with ethical concerns, according to a perspective piece published in the March issue of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education.

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AMA Announces End of Sustainable Growth Rate Formula

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Recently adopted legislation has repealed the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Acetaminophen Appears to Blunt Emotional Response

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acetaminophen may do more than simply dull pain -- it may also dull positive and negative emotions, new research indicates. The study was published online April 10 in Psychological Science.

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Meta-Analysis: Valgus Knee Bracing Helps Pain in Knee OA

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA), valgus knee bracing is associated with improvements in pain, according to a meta-analysis published in the April issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Cervical Disc Arthroplasty Tops ACDF for Single-Level Cervical Dz

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with single-level symptomatic cervical disc disease, cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) is associated with lower readmission rates, lower reoperation rates, and reduced costs compared with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), according to research published in the April 15 issue of Spine.

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Survey Looks at Patient Attitudes Regarding Informed Consent

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most U.S. adults would prefer to be asked for permission to participate in studies assessing usual medical practices, according to a study published online April 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Security Breaches of Health Records Up Over Past Decade

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Breaches in data security exposed more than 29 million health records to potential criminal misuse between 2010 and 2013, according to a new study. Security breaches involving hacking have nearly doubled in recent years, rising to 8.7 percent in 2013 compared with 4.7 percent in 2010, according to the study, published as a research letter in the April 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Placebo Response May Depend on Individual DNA

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The strength of the placebo effect may depend on particular DNA, according to a report published online April 13 in Trends in Molecular Medicine.

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Exercise Cuts Pain Interference From Diabetic Neuropathy

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise may help reduce perceived pain interference resulting from diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), according to a brief research report published online March 20 in Pain Medicine.

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NSAID-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease Prevalent With Asthma

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Among people with asthma, the prevalence of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-exacerbated respiratory disease (NERD) is about 9 percent, and asthma morbidity is increased among those with NERD, according to a review published online April 8 in Allergy.

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Medical Debt Burden Higher in Texas, Florida

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Significantly more adults in Florida and Texas struggle to pay medical bills or pay off medical debt over time compared with residents of New York and California, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report released Friday.

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Many Doctors Haven't Started Dealing With ICD-10 Revision

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians have barely begun to deal with issues relating to documentation associated with the transition to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Art Program Hones Med Students' Visual Observation Skills

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An innovative interdisciplinary program, Art Rounds, is effective for improving medical and nursing students' physical observation skills, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Nursing Education.

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Restless Leg Syndrome Common in Ankylosing Spondylitis

FRIDAY, April 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is common in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), according to a study published recently in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Pharmacists Raise Concerns for Patient Access to Generic Drugs

THURSDAY, April 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all pharmacists have experienced upswings in the acquisition costs of generic drugs, with price spikes reported to be worse since 2013, according to a report published by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

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Mindfulness Program Beneficial for Chronic Pain

THURSDAY, April 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A mindfulness program appears to be beneficial for patients with chronic pain, according to a study published in the April issue of Pain Medicine.

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Carpal Tunnel Incidence Not Higher in Patients With RA

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) does not appear to be elevated among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published recently in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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Limited Time Available to Review Sunshine Act Data

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have only 45 days to review and dispute reports regarding their financial ties to drug and medical device manufacturers reported under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Comparable Benefits for PT, Surgery in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physical therapy may be just as good as surgery for older adults with lower back pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis, according to new research published in the April 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Med Students, Residents Rarely Perform Stethoscope Hygiene

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Stethoscope hygiene is rarely performed by trainee physicians, according to a research letter published online April 2 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Half of Colorectal Cancer Survivors Have Continued Pain

MONDAY, April 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors with pain interference (PI) during the initial phase of care have continued PI post-treatment, according to a study published online March 20 in Pain Medicine.

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Article Highlights Legal Issues Linked to Physician Extenders

FRIDAY, April 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The use of physician extenders (PEs; mainly physician assistants and nurse practitioners) may bring added legal risks to a practice, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Botulinum Toxin-A Beneficial in Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

FRIDAY, April 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Botulinum toxin-A (BTX-A) appears to be beneficial for painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN), according to a meta-analysis published online March 20 in Pain Medicine.

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Review: Opioids Reduce Breathlessness in COPD

FRIDAY, April 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), opioids can improve breathlessness, but not exercise capacity, according to a review published online March 24 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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Patients May Be Modifying Meds Due to Trouble Swallowing

THURSDAY, April 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Some patients experience difficulties swallowing and modify medication dosage forms, without necessarily consulting health professionals, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

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Misuse of Prescribed Opioids in One-Quarter

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Almost a quarter of opioids that are prescribed for chronic pain are misused, and the rate of addiction among patients hovers near 10 percent, according to a new review published in the April issue of PAIN.

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Legal Issues of Removing Patient From Practice Explored

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The legal and ethical responsibilities of removing a patient from practice are discussed in an article published March 16 in Medical Economics.

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Acetaminophen Appears Lacking in Low Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acetaminophen does not appear to help ease lower back pain and offers little relief for the most common form of arthritis, according to a new report. The findings were published March 31 in The BMJ.

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