In the Spotlight: Pain BC's Allied Health & Nursing Working Group
Non-pharmacological therapies are a vital part of managing chronic pain. However, many barriers exist in accessing allied health care services. These include:
- Cost: Allied health care services are excluded or only partially covered by provincial medical plans. Many people living with pain are not able to afford these treatments.
- Accessibility: Allied health services are not available in all communities.
- Awareness: Health care providers and patients may not be aware of the benefits of allied health care in managing chronic pain.
In addition, not all allied health professionals have training in pain management.
Made up of 14 members representing allied health care associations, clinical experts, policy makers, and educators, the Allied Health & Nursing working group is championing an interdisciplinary, team-based approach to supporting people living with chronic pain. The objectives of this group are to:
- Improve accessibility and use of allied health and nursing services
- Increase the visibility and awareness of the contributions these professions offer to pain management among physicians, government and people living with pain
- Demonstrate and communicate the value of allied health and nursing professionals on interdisciplinary teams
The group is currently working on two initiatives:
Allied Health Approaches to Pain Management: An Educational Tool for Health Care Providers is underway and will increase awareness of non-pharmacological options for pain management. It will support physicians in making referrals to Allied Health professionals in BC, and help patients make informed decisions about their care.
Chronic Pain Education Opportunities for Health Care Providers: This initiative includes an environmental scan of chronic pain educational opportunities available to allied health care professionals. As an outcome of this project, we will be able to determine any existing educational gaps and create new learning opportunities to increase the capacity of allied health care providers.
Pain BC is grateful for the dedication, time and expertise offered by the volunteer members of the Allied Health & Nursing working group. By aligning our efforts around a common agenda - to improve the lives of people living with pain – we’re making a difference.