The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pathways to Prevention Workshop final report on the role of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain identifies several key evidence gaps and research priorities that must be addressed so that physicians can make informed decisions when prescribing opioids. The abridged report is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
According to the report, lack of research and inadequate knowledge about the best approaches to treating various types of pain leave providers to rely on their own clinical experience. Until research is done, a better approach is for clinicians to follow guidelines issued by professional societies and for systems of care to facilitate this practice. The paper includes a summary of the panel’s major recommendations. Comments about specific research issues that merit further exploration are included in the full report at the NIH web site.
Source: American College of Physicians