This Phase II application continues development of the Pain Assessment Interview Network - Clinical Advisory System (painCAS), a systematic and tested computer-administered assessment of chronic pain patients. Initial Assessment and Follow-up modules assess relevant health and functioning information of patients as they enter or continue treatment for chronic pain. Provider Initial and Follow-up Reports organize patient information in a convenient way that brings to the provider's attention notable health and functioning issues. The assessment includes an evaluation of risk for misuse and abuse of prescription pain medication. painCAS also generates a report specifically intended for patients. Finally, painCAS includes provider-focused tools for uploading and analyzing aggregate data for patients who have taken the painCAS assessments, as well as a Decision Support resource that can help guide treatment. Such a pain management resource would allow a physician to maximize the available time in a clinic encounter while minimizing potential adverse impacts of treatment, such as abuse or misuse of analgesics. A convergence of factors suggests the time is right for a clinical tool like the painCAS: (1) increasing pressure from healthcare policy makers and payors to systematize care, documentation, risk assessment, and prescribing;(2) public demands for adequate pain treatments;(3) public, industry, and regulator concerns about prescription medication misuse and abuse;(4) increasing acceptance of computer assessment and tools (including EMRs) in clinical settings;(5) increasing interest in clinical pathways and disease management to improve the efficiency and quality of care, and (6) an increasing recognition of the importance of understanding certain chronic conditions from a multidimensional perspective. Despite the need and several prior efforts to develop electronic pain assessments, the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) notes that no system has yet been widely adopted. Building on our prior work developing and disseminating electronic assessments as well as an innovative combination of features that add value to the system, a strong case can be made that the painCAS will be adopted. During Phase I, the groundwork was laid for a system design that will fit into the flow of clinical activities, meet important assessment and reporting needs, and provide relevant information directly to patients. Phase II will see the completion of remaining components of the assessments and design and the building of the completed painCAS system to be tested in a field trial. In Phase II, a multilevel, controlled, randomized clinical trial of patients in pain specialty clinics will test the impact of painCAS on treatment process and outcome against a painCAS assessment only condition and a treatment-as-usual condition. The tested hypotheses are that the painCAS will: 1) standardize documentation of chronic pain assessments, 2) increase the likelihood of discussion of appropriate topics and issues during the medical visit, and 3) improve the patient's satisfaction with treatment. Secondary analyses will examine the extent to which painCAS use is associated with improvement in pain functioning, mood, and misuse/abuse of medications. The proposed painCAS potentially addresses limitations of existing efforts to enhance assessment and practice in the treatment of chronic pain.
As society increasingly demands that medical professionals address the complex clinical presentations of patients with chronic pain, it is increasingly important that providers have the benefit of standardized computer- administered assessments along with computerized treatment recommendations. Successful development and dissemination of a comprehensive, integrated Pain Assessment Interview Network - Clinical Advisory System (painCAS) will go some distance toward enhancing assessment and treatment of chronic pain and be perceived as highly valuable to stakeholders. We believe this product has enormous commercial viability and public health importance and that its innovative combination of features will overcome obstacles to adoption that have plagued other electronic pain assessment systems.