January 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 January 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.

CDC: ~8 Percent of U.S. Adults Nonadherent Due to Rx Costs

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one in 10 American adults don't take their medications as prescribed because they can't afford to, according to a January data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Benefits Package Important for Attracting, Retaining Staff

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An appropriately-targeted benefits package is crucial for attracting and retaining employees, according to an article published Jan. 22 in Medical Economics.

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Leptin May Mediate Knee-Related Osteoarthritis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The inflammatory adipokine leptin may have a mediating effect on the relationship between body weight and knee osteoarthritis (OA) in older adults, according to research published in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Sedation Protocol Doesn't Reduce Duration of Ventilation in PICU

TUESDAY, Jan. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For children in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) mechanically ventilated for acute respiratory failure, the use of a sedation protocol does not reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation, according to a study published in the Jan. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Provider Demographics Affect Pain Treatment Decisions

TUESDAY, Jan. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Pain management treatment decisions may be impacted by a health care provider's demographic characteristics, according to a study published in the January issue of Pain Medicine.

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Pre-Op Back Pain, Pain Sensitivity Predict Outcomes

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Preoperative back pain and individual pain sensitivity can predict postoperative pain following lumbar surgery, according to a study published in the December issue of Pain Medicine.

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Morphine Linked With Adverse Outcomes Post-Tonsillectomy

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of morphine post-tonsillectomy should be limited, as it may be unsafe in certain children, according to a new study published online Jan. 26 in Pediatrics.

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AAP Opposes Legalization of Marijuana

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Marijuana shouldn't be legalized because of the potential harm it can cause children and adolescents, the American Academy of Pediatrics says. However, the group's updated policy statement, published online Jan. 26 in Pediatrics, does support the compassionate use of marijuana for children with debilitating or terminal illnesses.

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Moderate Changes in Lipids With Tocilizumab/Tofacitinib in RA

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), moderate changes in lipids are observed after treatment with tocilizumab or tofacitinib, according to a review published in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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CDC: Opioid Rx Prevalent in Reproductive-Aged Females

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Too many women of childbearing age take prescription opioids, putting any unborn babies at risk, U.S. health officials said Thursday. The report appears in the Jan. 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Smaller Goals to Start Could Boost Activity in Sedentary

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Current targets call for 150 minutes of weekly exercise -- or 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week -- to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Although these standards don't need to be abandoned, they shouldn't be the primary message about exercise for inactive people, experts argue in two separate analyses published Jan. 21 in The BMJ.

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Increased Physical Activity Seen After TKR in Developing World

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients in the developing world, total knee replacement (TKR) increases participation in physical activities in several life domains, according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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PCPs Can Use U/S to Rationalize Tx in Acute Shoulder Pain

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute shoulder pain, ultrasound imaging can be used by primary care physicians to rationalize treatment, according to a study published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Physicians Rank the Best EHR Systems of 2014

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have ranked electronic health record (EHR) systems based on five key performance areas, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Acupuncture Viable for Pain Relief After Joint Replacement

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture is a feasible adjunct therapy for short-term postsurgical pain management in total joint replacement, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in Pain Medicine.

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Docs Should Negotiate Health Care Payer Contracts

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The terms in health care payer contracts are not immutable, and contracts should be negotiated, according to an article published Jan. 9 in Medical Economics.

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Collaboration Between Med Students Cuts Diagnostic Errors

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For fourth-year medical students, working collaboratively is associated with a reduction in diagnostic errors, according to a research letter published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Meds/PT May Work As Well As Surgery for Spinal Stenosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery and more conservative treatments provide similar long-term outcomes for people with spinal stenosis, according to research published in the Jan. 15 issue of Spine.

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Physicians Hit Barriers in Making Cancer Referrals

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians report encountering barriers when referring cancer patients to specialty care, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer.

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Epidural Steroid Injections Tied to Small Surgery-Sparing Effect

MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with low back pain, epidural steroid injections (ESIs) could reduce the need for surgery, but the evidence is limited, according to research published in the Feb. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Most Docs Work 40 to 60 Hours Per Week

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians work long hours, with most working 40 to 60 hours per week and a considerable proportion working 61 to 80 or more hours per week, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Discectomy-Related Information on Internet Deemed Poor

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Discectomy-related information on the Internet is poor and of variable quality, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of Spine.

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Review: Venlafaxine May Be Effective for Fibromyalgia Tx

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Venlafaxine seems to be effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia, although studies are limited by small sample size and methodological concerns, according to a review published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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Impact of Medical Scribes on EHR Advancement Discussed

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing use of medical scribes should not be a replacement for improving electronic health records (EHRs), according to a viewpoint piece published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Epidemic of Rx Opioid Abuse May Be Waning in U.S.

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. epidemic of prescription opioid medication abuse may be starting to reverse course, according to new research. The findings, published in the Jan. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that recent laws and prescribing guidelines aimed at preventing abuse are working to some degree.

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Light Therapy Seems Promising for Nonspecific Back Pain

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with chronic nonspecific back pain (CNBP), light therapy is associated with reduction in pain intensity and improvement in depressive symptoms, according to a study published in the December issue of Pain Medicine.

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Patient-Selected Audio Therapy May Ease Pediatric Post-Op Pain

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Going through a surgery often means postoperative pain for children, but listening to their favorite music might help ease their discomfort, according to a new study published online Jan. 3 in Pediatric Surgery International.

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Working Long Hours? Beware Risky Alcohol Consumption

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Working long hours may raise the risk for alcohol abuse, according to a new study of more than 300,000 people from 14 countries. The report was published online Jan. 13 in The BMJ.

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Major Risks of Long-Term Opioid Rx Deemed Dose-Dependent

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The long-term effectiveness and harms of opioids for chronic pain are unclear, although the evidence supports a dose-dependent risk for serious harms, according to a review published online Jan. 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Guidelines Presented for Clinical Documentation in 21st Century

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines have been developed for clinical documentation and interrelated issues. The position paper has been published online Jan. 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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NIH: Insufficient Evidence for Opioid Use in Chronic Pain

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence is insufficient for opioid use in chronic pain, according to a position paper published online Jan. 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Gender of Provider May Impact Pain Management Practices

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Male and female general practitioners (GPs) prescribe analgesics to older patients in a similar manner but differ in their prescribing habits for antineuropathic pain drugs and symptomatic slow-acting drugs for osteoarthritis, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in Pain Medicine.

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Clinicians Increasingly Ordering Imaging for Headaches

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Clinicians are increasingly ordering advanced imaging and referring to other physicians for headache but less often providing counseling, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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AMA Reports on How Docs Use Their Free Time

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association recently surveyed physicians to find what activities they pursue when not in the exam room.

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CDC: Occupationally Acquired HIV Now Rare

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Documented occupational acquisition of HIV has now become rare in the United States, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Topical Diclofenac Unnecessary Post-Photorefractive Keratectomy

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing photorefractive keratectomy surgery, the administration of postoperative topical diclofenac does not alleviate pain, but is effective for local signs such as eyelid edema, according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

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Satellite Lesions Prognostic for High-Risk Zoster

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with herpes zoster, satellite lesions are prognostic of high-risk disease, according to a study published online Dec. 30 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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Blood Markers May Reveal Active Spinal Degenerative Disease

THURSDAY, Jan. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Serum biomarkers may be a measure for assessment of active degenerative spinal disease in older adults, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Experts Discuss Pros and Cons of Maintenance of Certification

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The pros and cons of the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) are discussed in two articles published in the Jan. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Article Highlights Top Technology Challenges for 2015

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The introduction of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) audits, meaningful use 2, and the burdens of technology are the top four technological challenges for physicians in 2015, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Injections for Knee Arthritis Most Effective for Pain Relief

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Using data from 137 studies, researchers have concluded that all of the widely used arthritis treatments provide more relief from knee pain over three months than do placebo pills. The findings are published in the Jan. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Article Highlights Top Management Challenges for 2015

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Considerable challenges are projected to impact practice management in 2015, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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