For chronic pain
MORE than one in five people with moderate to severe chronic pain had their condition improved during a nurse-led programme which operated in Leinster last year.
There was a 60pc reduction in the proportion of people with chronic pain who woke up three to four nights a week because of the level of discomfort.
The programme, which involved Chronic Pain Ireland, saw patients attending a 30-minute face-to-face pain management review clinic or assessment with a registered nurse. The nurse gave the support and education to help with pain control and assessed if the patient needed to see a GP. Problems such as not taking pain medication and poorly controlled pain were highlighted.
Dr Rukshan Goonewardena, a GP principal in Ballyjamesduff, Cavan said: “Chronic pain can be difficult to assess and manage as there are many factors at play and it affects people in a variety of ways. This programme showed improvements in pain scores, the proportion of patients with poorly controlled pain, and in the number of work days missed due to pain.
According to Dr Goonewardena, this demonstrates the impact advice and education can have on those with chronic pain. “I highly recommend this programme to GPs and practice nurses to improve pain control and quality of life in our patients,” he said.