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Veterans Contribute to Pamphlet on Controlling Pain Despite Long-Term Treatment with Opioids

April 2, 2020

Takeaway: Veterans’ helped create a widely distributed pamphlet on improving pain management. Arising as a research tool, the revised pain management pamphlet is being disseminated as part of a QUERI Partnered Evaluation Initiative on stepped care for opioid use disorder and through the VA Academic Detailing Program.

The Veterans’ Pain Care Organizational Improvement Comparative Effectiveness (VOICE) study is comparing strategies to improve pain management for Veterans with poorly controlled pain despite long-term treatment with opioids. The VOICE Veteran Engagement Panel (VEP), which includes 10 Veterans with personal chronic pain experience, has been an integral part of the study since its inception in 2017. Veterans from the panel contributed to a pamphlet developed by HSR&D researchers that was so well received that the team created a non-research version, which is now being disseminated through the Facilitation of the Stepped-Care Model and Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder QUERI Partnered Evaluation Initiative and the VA Academic Detailing program. Veterans suggested key components of the pamphlet—including a patient testimonial, decision checklist, and overview of opioid withdrawal symptoms—and helped create the final product with study clinicians.

“Having a collective conversation with people from across the country, with different demographics and with their own experiences with pain management has definitely opened my eyes and given me a different perspective.” — VEP member Joshua Oakley, Army Veteran and patient at the San Francisco VA Medical Center

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