July 2005 MedBytes: Pain on the Internet

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Unfortunately, "pain" is a word many Texans use to describe their everyday health. In fact, the American Pain Foundation estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from persistent pain annually. Below is a sample of sites on the World Wide Web that can provide additional information about pain and its management.

The American Pain Society
The American Pain Society (APS), at  www.ampainsoc.org, is a multidisciplinary organization of basic and clinical scientists, practicing clinicians, policy analysts, and others. Established in 1977, its mission is to advance the treatment of people in pain by ensuring access to treatment, removing regulatory barriers, and educating practitioners and policymakers in all settings about the advances and economics of effective pain treatment. The society's Web site provides information about membership, materials about pain treatment, the APS continuing education program, and links to pain guidelines and online resource centers. There also is information about The Journal of Pain , which publishes original articles related to all aspects of pain and pain management.

AmericanAcademy of Pain Medicine
The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) is the medical specialty society representing physicians practicing pain medicine. It is involved in education, training, advocacy, and research in pain medicine. Its site, www.painmed.org, allows visitors to read a quarterly online newsletter that focuses on regional snapshots of pain medicine practice updates, liaison reports from other medical societies, and the accomplishments of committees and members. There also is information about the new AAPM journal and access to the membership directory. AAPM is the only pain organization with representation in the American Medical Association House of Delegates.

National Pain Foundation
Serving as an online education and support community for persons in pain, their families, and physicians, the National Pain Foundation was established in 1998 to advance functional recovery of persons in pain through information, education, and support. Its site, at  www.nationalpainfoundation.org, contains an online consumer guide, which was created to answer key questions about recent pain developments and offer support for people with pain and the challenges they face. Additional resources include a personal inventory section that helps patients identify the information they need to manage pain, plus a posted Mayo Clinic glossary of pain terms.

American Pain Foundation
The American Pain Foundation site,  www.painfoundation.org, is an online resource for people with pain, their families, friends, caregivers, and the general public. It is devoted to patient information and advocacy, and provides many links to additional information. Online resources include an advocacy center, access to the PainAid online community, and a clinical trials center. Visitors can sign up to receive the foundation's free newsletters, publications, and news alerts.

The American Headache Society
The American Headache Society (AHS) is a professional society of health care professionals dedicated to the study and treatment of headaches. After its founding in 1959 at the AMA annual meeting, AHS developed an annual headache symposium that continues today. The symposium addresses a variety of topics, with the goal of teaching health care professionals. AHS now holds two teaching symposia a year in addition to its scientific meeting. Visitors to  www.americanheadachesociety.org/  can order audiocassettes of past AHS meetings and symposia. Visitors also can download a one-hour teaching workshop designed to provide an interactive forum for health care professionals to teach patients about migraine headaches.

Partners Against Pain
Partners Against Pain is an alliance of patients, caregivers, and health care professionals working to alleviate unnecessary suffering by leading efforts to advance standards of pain care through education and advocacy. Online resources, found at  www.partnersagainstpain.com, include a pain management kit and access to the alliance's magazine. The kit provides a diverse selection of forms and assessment tools to record pain intensity and duration, patient consent and treatment, clinical follow-up, and patient response to pain treatment. It also provides pain diaries for patients, drug abuse screening tools, and important reference papers and definitions.

MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest toTexas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, email erin.prather@texmed.org. Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by theTexas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.

 

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