Supporting People with Chronic Pain Through Collaborative Care Approach

Medical fields began to look into ways to organize care in order to help people suffering from chronic pain since early this year. Collaborative care is one of the most effective systems.

Collaborative back care approach uses a team-based model of care with coordination or management functions. It often supports health information technology infrastructure and often involves patients through self-management.

These types of organized care are based on models of managing chronic illness, one of the first, the chronic care model, developed at the Group Health Research Institute.

Mental Health Solutions Center defines five principles of Collaborative Care including a patient-centered care team, population-based care like tracking patients in a registry, measurement-based treatment to targets such as measuring clinical outcomes and patient goals, evidence-based care, and accountable care or providers being reimbursed for quality, not volume. 

Literature reviews such as those done by the Veterans Administration find that many of the elements identified as being helpful to integrate behavioral health into primary care are also important to support patients with chronic pain in primary care.

These elements include having decision support to help providers, supporting care coordination resources just like a care manager, involving the patient in care through education and activation, and access to multi-modal care.