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University of Florida Researcher Finds New Ways to Determine Whether a Patient Will Suffer from Chronic Pain

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Doctors can use a new tool to predict whether a patient will have chronic pain. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Doctors can use a new tool to predict whether a patient will have chronic pain. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A University of Florida researcher and his team have developed a new tool to help doctors predict whether their patients are at risk of chronic pain. UF’s Jason Beneciuk says the screening tool asks a simple question about the patient’s overall health, including their mental health and other symptoms they might be experiencing.

“Physical therapy is a non-pharmacological treatment approach it’s associated with a very low degree of risk and harm, some of the other interventions out there, opioids in particular are associated with a higher level of risk.”

Beneciuk says his team found more than a quarter of patients who had poorer overall health, including depression and anxiety, experienced persistent pain and would benefit from more long-term management instead of opioids. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sales of opioids have quadrupled in the United States, with some states writing prescriptions at a rate three times that of others.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied journalism at Northwestern University. She covers local and breaking news and is a backup host for "All Things ... Read Full Bio »